Three-hundred thousand years ago
Homo heidelbergensis reached
Iberian hills, found in a pit of bones
deep enough for you to fill with the
museum’s collections of porcelain cups,
Civil War uniforms, & fragments
of the atomic bomb dropped on Mars Bluff.
You hold my hand through each exhibit,
tell me the Mesozoic reptiles behind glass
aren’t real, & the wide human skulls, neither
are they. Their chins, like ham croquettes,
set them apart from wild, hairy things,
chimeras or chimpanzees. You ask: How old
is the Earth? Billions. You say twelve thousand.
Maybe we’ve been put together like faded bouquets
of pelvis fossils & rivulets of gazpacho blood.
In a dream, you left rocks at my doorstep,
the way nineteenth century men
crawled into tunnels at Atapuerca & made teeth
necklaces for their lovers.
You ask: Where did they go after they died?
Into the pit. Glorified with nothing but
thick skin & chants, chapped lips.
VICKY BROWN is a junior at the Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities in Greenville, SC where she studies creative writing. She is the recipient of Silver and Gold Keys from the National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. When she is not at school, she is traveling to foreign countries with her parents.