Poets for Science
Global Gallery

Quetzalcoatlus: Portrait of a Statue



Visitors stand beneath
the impossibly beaked creature—
gargantuan gargoyle hunched

(perched is too petite a word)
in its epic corner.

Once unearthed,
we brought this beast
to attitude and altitude,

shared our speculations—
but no scope, no bird’s-eye view
can hope to contain this fibered serpent

who scampers and glides
in the spaces between our dreaming it
and the epoch of its reality.

Something integral remains
invisible—no tendon, no flesh
no meat for us to sink our belief into.

In point of fact some passers-by
shake their heads at its tall story.
They’re not entirely wrong to doubt:

its stillness and silence belie our science,
the very was of it is but a monument
to our best guess

as with all things that live
as hypothesis and hint.