Wednesday, April 4, 2012

8. The Care and Feeding of Prehistoric Reptiles

Denise was born with a small pterodactyl
lodged in her gut.  It's perfectly normal,
the doctor told her parents.

But in the middle of gym class,
it awoke to gouge her insides with its eggtooth.
Denise was sent to the nurse,
who gave her aspirin, a new pair of shorts,
and a pamphlet.

Your dinosaur is precious. 
Wash it daily.
Never touch it.
Keep it clean and pure
for your future husband and children.

Every month, the pterodactyl squirmed, bit,
spat out blood.
Denise's nightmares grew gravid with eggs,
fat and green as cantaloupes,
pulsing with the half-formed life inside.
She took anti-reptile pills,
cooked omelettes and frittatas to comfort herself.
The biting abated a little.

When, thirty-five years later,
the animal died in a flailing fit,
Denise made an appointment to have it removed.
The young doctor suggested couples counseling
with her husband
to help them grieve.
Her partner Gertrude
laughed about this for weeks.


  1. You're on a roll, bitten. Poor dino, though. I must say, you must read widely or is your inspiration osmotic?

    1. I'm not sure I read as widely as either I ought to or I'd like. I'd been wanting to write something like this for a while (it's secretly a selfish whinge about female sexual anatomy), but couldn't locate the right animal. I think I finally figured it out.

      I really appreciate the fluff, by the way!

  2. O_O Holy smokes! That's messed up! I like it, though. Great choice of animal/reptile/er bird? It's late, I dunno and am too lazy to look it up!

  3. Thanks, Miko and Cookie! Pterodactyls are both animals and reptiles, but not birds. (A friend who knows about such things tells me that if you classify animals in a sensible way, birds are dinosaurs and pterodactyls are not. I've seen a cassowary and an emu, and can totally believe that birds are dinosaurs. Even chickens are pretty dinosaur-looking, really.)