We would hold the book open together
on the table and point
to the many things within its pages.
Most curious to me was a large map
depicting the edge of the known world.
It hadn’t occurred to me yet
that the rest of the map
didn’t fit any real version of creation
it just was.
There were rising mountain chains
castles perched on high rocks
and great altars to dark magic.
Down the spine of a particularly jagged
mountain range words read:
Here there be Dragons.
(My first time encountering the phrase.)
Many times since
the innocence of those times
the reality is:
don’t come forth
with their scales gleaming
their teeth bared
or their claws sharpened.
They hardly ever
make themselves known
but you can find them if you try
in the unlikeliest