Allow me to first ask for permission –
was anybody going to tell me
that rhinoceros is spelled ‘rhinoceros’,
and that the plural of rhino isn’t ‘rhinos’
‘Rhinoceroses’ feels like lighting the fuse
on a particularly large
Is it alright that it doesn’t take much to please me?
Is it alright that the word ‘rhinoceroses’ looks like
a fort made of cardboard
with a paper clip
And now, let me beg for forgiveness.
This isn’t a poem about rhinos.
It’s sort of about spelling, but mostly, it’s a poem
I told myself to write after dreaming what my brain thought
your face prob’ly looked like
over a cup of black coffee.
The elbow of your jawline.
The coarseness of your hair.
The way your eyes squint before you say something serious
as though the answers were something you used to see clearly,
but now the E’s and F’s are starting
– Brittany M. Ortega