Self-Portraits in Jurassic Park

                  if I must be all the evil in the world,
         the box made by my father gods
to fence me in,

if the gaps in my sequence 
         lie, waiting to be
                  replaced, recovered,

                  if it is easier to devour 
         the unsuspecting,
if what they don’t have

to feel in themselves
         until they see me,
                  the sickle claw I brandish,

                  if I was the villain of this movie, but
         if they did deserve it, though,
if I was not the killer

but not the final girl either,
         if what they fear has always been
                  the softness of their own bellies,

                  if their guts, if their necks 
         and stomachs, their fluids,
what they look like unseamed,

spilled onto the floor
         in front of god and everyone,
                  if maybe then they will remember,

                  then, when they found me 
         the most graceful shape
in all time’s creation, my bones

pieced back together, thought they held the vial, 
         the stolen life, thought themselves each
                  the one who invented me,

                  thought they would place themselves in my mouth, 
         look back at the photo later and remember
just how little they feared, then,

CJ Scruton is a trans, non-binary poet from the Lower Mississippi River Valley. They currently live on the Great Lakes, where they teach English and research ghost stories. Locally, they are a founding member and director of the Milwaukee Queer Writing Project and serve on the board of the Milwaukee Native American Literary Cooperative. Their work appears in The Journal, New South, Juked, CutBank, and other publications.