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2 poems
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,

chattering constellations

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.

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