The diplodocus longus goes first.
The audience sits with bated breath:
the reptiles on opposite ends of long benches,
scaly forelimbs poised to strike the wooden countertops
in something close to solidarity,
and those watching from home,
shelling peas into buckets between their knees
with a soreness in their backs and fingers,
an ache only to be eased by extinction.
The diplodocus longus rhymes ‘O Lord God,
buy thee the field for money and take witness’
with ‘regrettable economic recess’ for five points.
The allosaurus fragilis takes the stage
to an anticipatory round of applause.
The stakes are high: six skyscrapers
will be built in honour of today’s grandmaster.
It is a war that will determine the fate
of parking passes and promotions,
promises of prettier pensions,
a pre-order of peas at parties.
The allosaurus fragilis loses its round,
opting for congruity over cadence.
A thousand miles away, the comet inches closer –
not to be heard over the sound
of the familiar chorus,
Rayne Affonso is a poet and essayist from Trinidad and Tobago. Her work has been published in The Daphne Review, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Pilcrow & Dagger, Down in the Dirt Magazine, and Grand Little Things. In 2022, she was the winner of the Spectrum Poetry Competition hosted by Renard Press.