by Avery Yoder-Wells
Avery Yoder-Wells (they/them) is a trans, queer poet in their junior year of high school. Their work has appeared in the Connecticut River Review, VIBE's bellyful folio, Mausoleum Press, Aurora Journal, bs/ws, and elsewhere. When not writing, they can be found bothering their cats, playing the NYT Spelling Bee, or eating applesauce at unreasonable times of night. They lurk on Twitter at @averyotherwise.
The Other Day on Wikipedia
I learned about secret dinosaurs,
which, okay, are just dinosaurs unavailable
to the general public at the present
moment et cetera if you will but
I picture bones slipped under grain silos,
packed with newspaper into laundry bags,
reassuring airport scanners that their X-rays
are just built to see imaginary bones.
No official could successfully dispute them,
not even I, if I caught a skeleton lump
in someone’s back pocket,
since as a child I did study dinosaurs because
I was fascinated with their dubious reality,
and learned their colors are undetermined
even by scientists. And some dinosaurs
were named twice because their discoverers
never swapped notes, so paleontology
is an artistic science and dinosaurs
could squeeze under my floorboards
undetected. And if private collectors
refuse to share their fossils, I am free
to name them myself, envision them fuchsia,
cerulean and lime. Maybe I am still just
young or something but hiding common words
in the bones of a basement is like
letting only astronomers into the sun.
I’m worried that the wool-moths
are writing on my clothes.
Their holes could be their language.
After all, the Inca knotted
their words on strings,
and a hole is just a hungrier knot.
Maybe they gossip in my shawls,
that mock my taste in cashmere.
My sweater may read
ceci n’est pas un pull.
I would never know.
I am afraid of dead languages because
their gods could have discussed me.
My name could be the absence
unraveling my outfits,
a translation of dents after a feast.
The moths may be laughing at me
even now. Ceci n’est pas
un chose permanente.
What a waste of good material.
You should try, they say,
to eat your words more often.