Verses from Elmer
I’m a stuffed triceratops
with butterfly-soft fabric
teal as lagoons. My father
shimmers in my black eyes
while his breath ships my name.
Three ice-cream cone horns
nudge the air, my frill’s shamrock
rising from my neck. Some say
I’m inanimate, though I think,
therefore I am—for all objects
house a soul. I love the world
for aardvarks I’ve not seen,
though I imagine bleat
accordion music, have seventeen eyes
and thirty snouts beyond my closet
of teddy bears. The universe
is tender. Blue ghosts wait
in the weeping wind for my father
to nurse their griefs back to joy.
I’m happy, so happy to be real.
Let There Be Light
From space, blue earth glimmers
blessed by hooves. No other world
has lovemaking and blackberries.
Everybody who lived, lives here.
Zoom to suburbs one April night.
A lone cricket rings in flickering grass.
Sheet-shawled sleepers dream
their late grandfather’s face
genuine as clay. Others dream
of baseball, their first school dance. Light comes
so white it x-rays the rooms. Cars stall
on freeways. A mushroom cloud climbs,
downtown cinders to incense
as cobs in shucks blast to popcorn,
wallpaper crisps like peeled skin,
deranged angels smearing fire through hands
of sweetgum leaves, Old Testament wrath
on fresh mown lawns where the family dog barks
and does not understand.
Frog in Amber
In Myanmar, 2018, a 99-million-year-old frog was found trapped in amber with its potential last meal, a beetle. The Cretaceous era amphibian lived contemporary with dinosaurs.
When the pine wept
syrupy resin, her tears
gummed me to death
with gold, my flesh glassed
in this bullion glacier.
My webbed hands tried
to swim the candled slurry
until I became a runestone
casting scientific magic,
to call stegosaur gods
for truth and company.
My cocoon’s caramel speaks
mysteries curators read
and cannot understand:
forests with unnamed smells,
rituals of trilobites and snails.
Do humans know the sound
of my trilling chin’s love-croak,
the taste of my last beetle?
Are my pleasures lost to time
as yours will? I sleep
in this hunk of sap, waiting
for your vision to wake me
and imagine my sipping breath.
Eric Fisher Stone is a poet from Fort Worth, Texas. He received his MFA in writing and the environment from Iowa State University. His book of poems, “The Providence of Grass” was published by Chatter House Press in 2018. His second book, “Animal Joy” is forthcoming from WordTech Editions in 2021.