barney, anyway

my editor stopped by my desk
on a thick missouri day
to say
i’ve been thinking about it &
i think dinosaurs must have
become gay
that’s why they went extinct

he wanted my response to mean something

i could tell by the way he
shuffled his right foot just a little as he
leaned against the side of my cubicle &
looked down

he wanted me to give weight to
this thing he’d been thinking
so he leaned there, waiting, 
as his hand met his shoe halfway
& chipped away at a clump of dried mud
on the instep of a shine lost long ago

he wiped the dust onto his pants
like he’d done something important
& patted my shoulder
quick
like a clumsy bird practicing its
takeoffs & landings

he said
so
you know
i thought you should know
you know
that i think it’s natural
it’s just good it’s only a small percentage of people
unlike all the dinosaurs
or we’d run out of
you know
us

geez boss
i said
that’s really

progressive

 of you

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