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Dun Emer Press at work, ca. 1908


          Eugene Melino



You're sitting at the bar
next to a couple of young Triceratops 
arguing whose father was a bigger bastard.
Big, loud, probably dangerous if pissed, 
they're still plant-eaters. 
You are more of an Iguanadon yourself,
but Your Father was a real T-Rex.
Fifty feet from nose to tail,
Eight-foot jaws. Six-inch dagger teeth. 
Biggest land predator of its day.

Another round segues 
the Ceratopsians to their boyhoods,
the debate turning to who had the best toys.
In the midst of Gobots versus Transformers, 
you recall the latest theory on T-Rexes, 
that they were scavengers, giant
eaters of carrion rather than live flesh.
Your best toy was the Time Machine by Mattel. 
It came with these day-glo plastic wafers  
you put into the chamber; flip the switch, 
a hundred watt bulb softened the memory plastic,
and a little day-glo dinosaur unfolded himself.   

When he's done wreaking havoc on your Lego city, 
you stick him back in the chamber, 
soften him up, then stuff him hot 
into a thing like a mini garbage compressor,  
squeezing him back into a wafer stamped with Mattel.  
But you take it out too soon, 
and a little T-Rex haunch springs out of the smooth plastic surface.

Eugene Melino was born and raised in The Bronx.  He is currently attending the Advanced Poetry workshop at The Writers Studio in Greenwich Village.  Eugene Melino lives and works in New York City. 

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