Enormous beast on six legs stands in the Hall
of Meteorites. Small children like to crouch
or crawl beneath him. Looking up, they feel
he's friendly. True, he can't attack. Cold,
dense, heavier than iron, his ridged back shows
scalloped melt-marks. Flaming lump, he tumbled,
blunt buffalo-head, imbedded in a self-dug
blasthole, congealed in earth for centuries.
Reptilian his look of never-needing-to-move.
You can't see him breathe. But the space about
his outline vibrates. Power like dust of mica
seems to swirl around his bulk.
Six chrome poles the paraplegic monster's
mounted on. The children stoop around those
legs, rumpus under the heavy belly, lay their
petal cheeks against harsh metal, and listen
for what might snort within. They pet and pat
the face that, here or there, might show an eye
or nostril about to bloom, or short thick
warted horn. Half his snout, distended like
a dragon's, has been filed flat, rubbed bright
as nickel, slick to stroking hands. This patch
of the beast's shag peeled, planed and flashing,
has worn out many tools.
Howling fire fattened to a roar when he fell,
fragment of a star, or lava Minotaur, gnarled
hide charred black, great clinker bounding
down from the fiery shore of Universe. Beast
not of this earth, beneath which children play
as Romulus and Remus trustfully suckled.