“Dinosaurs of Central Park West” by Colin Dodds

Dinosaurs of Central Park West

Cataract of flesh below an elephant’s eye
Sedan chair of dead gazelles
We are the afterlife of animals

Circuit breakers and push brooms—
unremarkable labors kindle the stars
that accompany the dinosaurs of Central Park West
into the unimaginable

The paleontologist tells the children
the same thing the village witch doctor
says of a forest’s gods
If it doesn’t have sharp, sharp teeth
then it’s not really real

Armadillo pegged to the wall, squid wired to the ceiling
the Beatles on the P.A.—every taxidermied
habitation is ours to spy with our little eye

But we alone—alone with the corpse
of the Neanderthal boy
shielded beneath an enclosure of rams’ horns
meticulously as a heart under ribs
Alone as his father must’ve been
Our true habitat has no proper name

Hollow elephants appear here and there
—great gray clouds of conscience made flesh
while dinosaurs wait on the top floor
with an aphasia enormous and incomplete


Colin Dodds is a writer. His work has appeared in more than 250 publications, been anthologized, nominated and shortlisted for numerous prizes, and praised by luminaries including Norman Mailer and David Berman. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and daughter. See more of his work at thecolindodds.com.



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