born dinosaur

I was born dinosaur, but I melted early;
liquefied to hold on better,
became tar-child,
a sticky-hot-goop fossilizing my loves for safe-keeping.

I tried to learn better let go
at the first last nap I saw,
knew I should scrape my little nails of the dirt that covered it,
but instead
I fought to keep it.


People tried to teach me better let go,
by showing me better hold on,
lighter hold on,
something softer than dinosaur-melt,
something more like glue-stick lovin’,
something peeling at the edges,
like an envelope between people who have no secrets.

And in high school, my best friend said,
that type of no-secret-holdin’ wouldn’t catch a fly
let alone a boy,
and she said it was okay to be so sweet in my loving
that hearts get stuck in my direction.

I braided her hair and laughed,
and just a few days later, I turned sweet on someone,
and he would have left a footprint on me
if he could have moved at all,
but he ended up frozen-loved, safe-keeped,
like the way I kept a small braid of my best friend’s hair
even after cancer took the rest of it.

A new friend drove me to her treatments,
and I showed him the auburn lock,
and asked him how it was that she missed her hair less than I did?

And I asked him how it was that I still wasn’t good at letting go?

He had no answers for once,
saying if he knew anything about let go,
he would have already,
and I thought about that when
my stars let go to sick-fight,
and youth-life,
and then differently when
my stars let go by choice.

They cut time from their veins,

but still they couldn’t rip themselves from my claws,
and that’s how I know I’m more teeth than time,
more dinosaur than death,

more pit than person,

because you can’t even see the bones laid to rest in me,
the ghost-hearts and brave-spines.

Because you can’t even see my husband,
the one who lay face-down in my lava like
it was quicksand,
like he wanted to drown in me,
like he was tired of an earth so good at let go
and needed for my something-stickier.

I was born dinosaur, but I melted early
when my first star fell to earth,
saying goodbye like an asteroid,
trying to teach me better let go,
and everyone in this poem tried too,

But I have a little dino-brain and a great big dino-heart,
and the dark-glue-stick of my sky can’t keep my stars from falling,
and the dark-fly-trap of my earth can’t let them go,
everyone in this poem is dead now.

Everyone in this poem is dead now.

Except me.
I outlived my age.

My stars turned me into greedy-heart tar-child when they fell.
I melted to catch them, fought to keep them.
My nails are filled with grave dirt and iv juice
and bullet residue and wrinkles,
and everything left over from a bright sky.
I paint over all of it religiously,
irridescent bubble-shine decorating my tar,
But the pit still deepens,
this poem still fattens.

My claws keep growing,
but they still don’t know how to better hold on,

and I still don’t know how to let go.

8 thoughts on “born dinosaur

  1. I don’t think you especially need to learn to let go. Unless you want to. And even then I expect your people would rather be held. Tom Paxton wrote about people leaving indelible traces on his soul. It seems they’ve left more tangible, unremoveable traces on you.
    Also.. Did you love button moon?

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Don’t be ashamed to be someone who holds on. No one holds on anymore. No one wants to commit to anything anymore. I wish more people would grow out their claws and use them. But then, I am also the kind of heart that has a hard time letting go of things that are long dead. ❤

    Liked by 1 person


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