Chance meeting at the Tyrrell Museum,
and you think it’s fate. You talk about our
past life as if it could be resurrected,
as if a passion now glacial could be melted,
rekindled into the fire it used to be.
You might try to draw out the DNA
of our desire, our tempestuous, archosaurian
relationship, resequence the base pairs of the
broken code, clone ancient affection into a
molecularly indistinguishable emotion.
But you’d have to dig deep, beyond
the Jurassic layers of this heart, to unearth
any part of me that might still hold hope.
And what is left lies fossilized in amber,
frozen in the throes of an agonized death.
Or you might try to nudge us back to where
we were, taking advantage of the slightest waver
in my desire to evolve anew, away from you;
like triggering a latent developmental branch
during the embryonic stages of a bird:
To coax it to spread five delicate fingers, instead
of three, on each tiny front limb; intimate a jagged
whisper of teeth along a formative beak; and curl
twenty-two vertebrae of its fragile spine in and up
and around its frame, into a saurian tail.
Yes, we did love once. But that love's extinction
is irrevocable: there is no soft tissue to draw
genetic material from, no chemical switch
or biological window to turn back time, no course
to revert the unwary bird into the dinosaur.
And even if there were – best let the past lie
buried in the sediments of your memory; lest
history repeat itself; lest you recreate instead
the theropod of hate, that would remember,
rise and devour you, a raging tyrannosaur.