University of Iowa Museum of Natural History

by Catherine Pond

Under a replica of a mammoth sloth, you place my hand
on your stomach and I feel the baby
kick. I look at a diorama of the Plains Indians, imagine

a tornado sweeping across their cardboard empire,
shaking the figurines loose from their toothpick fence.
We don’t speak; the museum

of tomorrow is small, and we are scared of the surgical knife
that will slice through your abdomen.
To exit, we walk backwards through the Devonian era

where the world is mostly water
and you get tired quickly. Here, the fish are still just
forming. The first forests, taking shape.

Catherine Pond teaches at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Boston Review, Salmagundi, Tupelo Quarterly, The Antioch Review, and more. She is a recipient of the 2015 Lotos Foundation Prize.