TREX AND THE ASTRONAUT by Rebecca LaFontaine-Larivee

An imposing edifice,
an iconic set of steps.
Tyrannosaurus Rex towers over me, within the cavernous walls of Saurischian Hall.
Only one full day to explore New York City.
A multitude of landmarks to choose from — but only time for one.
Decision guided by a transport shutdown; I gravitate toward you.
It is a surprisingly warm day in January 2020 with
broad streets already darkening by 3 pm.
Shadows creeping like fingers across Central Park West,
bouncing off stone walls with no time left to see behind them.
AMNH: the American Museum of Natural History finally appears,
The default choice (when the trains don’t run) over MOMA and Ellis Island.
Drawn by the more inviting light of the adjacent planetarium,
I descend the carpeted spiral of the Hayden Sphere.
Then, double back toward those dusty dioramas — losing my bearings in labyrinthine hallways.
Feeling disappointment at two dimensional painted forest backdrops,
prefabricated fossil recreations, knowing that evolution didn’t stop at Lucy.
Dim lighting adds to lifeless impressions of poorly coiffed bison and stuffed gazelles.
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