Tonight my son is mad at me because reading literary
      magazines is boring. Tonight, my son wants to be a dragon.
I have no son. I have a dragon. He is made of two fingers
      and a cup of Jameson. A cup, not a rocks glass. We are not
fancy in this house. The dragon’s teeth are long fingernails,
      rarely clipped. We are not fancy here. The dragon’s jaws are
the hinge of the thumb. Not a hand puppet, a dragon. He
      believes this, and so must I. He’s bored of me reading literary
magazines. I have no son, I have a dragon. And a lover. One
      of them wants to learn to breathe fire and fly. Wants a castle
to conquer and a king to slaughter. I read him a poem instead.
      He protests but listens. When I am done, he practices flying.
At arm’s reach, he fails, flops back to the pillows below. We
      are not fancy. We drink and study poetry. My dragon wants
to learn to fly, so I teach him to read. He wants to breathe fire,
      so I teach him to read. He asks me to listen to the flapping
of his wings, his roaring fire. I hush and listen, but there is
      only silence, my lover, and his remarkable hands.

Jeanann Verlee is the author of Racing Hummingbirds (Write Bloody Publishing), recipient of the Independent Publisher Book Award Silver Medal in Poetry, and the forthcoming collection, Said the Manic to the Muse. She has been awarded the Third Coast Poetry Prize and the Sandy Crimmins National Prize for Poetry and her work has appeared in The New York Quarterly, Rattle, and failbetter, among others. Verlee wears polka dots and kisses Rottweilers. She believes in you. Learn more at


Imagination is our most powerful resource. One of the many reasons I fell in love with my partner is his capacity to imagine and to share his imaginings with me. A home of two writers should be a fanciful one. Together, we have invented a small world of children—we have none of our own just yet—with unique personalities, flaws, and ambitions. From lions and lambs to dragons and aliens, we engage and laugh and mourn and celebrate. The darker side of this poem is the tacit undercurrent of fear we both face surrounding issues of fertility and aging. We keep going. We keep inventing new stories. In this way, together, we teach ourselves kindness, empathy. In this way, we are boundless.



Copyright 2009