Green Hills Literary Lantern

If Rhinoceros Were Chocolate




Sweet, but stupid, they soften in the sun
as the caramel hippopotami
keep firm and cool in the river.

Nose horns bend to the side,
ears slide down, eyelids won't open.
They trample the cotton candy brush,
they bend their snouts on the licorice trees.

When a male and female kiss,
their lips will fuse and blend,
and as they separate,
stretch like ropes of taffy.
Still massive, still ill-tempered,
Do not fail to heed the signs:
"Please, don't lick the rhinos." 





A segment in the circle includes
our shiny screws, and the section
below splinters with the last ratchet.

A flat-ridged file stutters off
the spur, and the new hire's error
disappears below the polymer.

Structural integrity, aesthetically
coherent, not so necessary
that the guts look pretty.

Someday the green wet wood will
check, the rain will find the metal,
the load shift or bow or warp.

All intentions have a working
life. Let the joint snap. We'll
make another just as good.



Jesse Minkert lives in Seattle. He has written plays for theater and radio, short stories, novels, and poems. Wood Works Press published Shortness of Breath & Other Symptoms, in 2008. His poetry appears or is upcoming in Eclectica, Paper Nautilus, Floating Bridge Review, Harpur Palate, Aunt Chloe, Raven Chronicles, Naugatuck River Review, and DMQ Review.