(finalist for the 2022 Boston Review Annual Poetry Contest)


one year before dying of exposure
left outside, unprotected
you pace around your enclosure

like a moving watercolor,
heaving sheath of muscle,
hips & hide lilting

as if the world were made
specifically for you
to pass through;

it’s easy to forget
you were mothered
into existence—
yes, even the long-gone
once knew tenderness.


there are still sightings
many years after you
were declared extinct:

telltale flash of your body
slipping over a hillside,
parting grass & air;

where is the pathway you
frequent—the one where
cryptids & myths meet

in their eternal migration?
perhaps stopping
for a moment, swapping

stories & sipping tea.
last of your family,
genus, species.


we could reconfigure you
through de-extinction,
forcibly extract your essence,
twirl bone & tendon around

your memory like
cotton candy

compacted into realness.

would this be
the first time in history

an animal was ever dragged
from the billowy chapel
of oblivion? all of us

moribund, hoping only
to mother the dead;

dear Benjamin, don’t
you want to feel
hunger again?