The reason we killed
                        the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker is because
            it was such a decorative bird to collect, expensive
bill. One of our residents upon seeing it

exclaimed Lord God Bird!
            The name stuck
                        not the species. I don’t know
                                    how to live. Lord God.

                                    I don’t know. I don’t touch myself much
                        anymore. In the shower instead of touching myself
            I think of how many hundreds of thousands
of years it took for the giraffe to lengthen

its head to see so far, to reach the branch,
            and how long it took the first starfish to grow
                        a lost arm back, I’m thinking about

            Months and days to the year and the years
                        of sickness, mine and yours, hide and seek
                                    when I cup my hands around the damp

                                    mask of my face, soap tearing
                        into my eyes. I don’t know what to think,
            there is nothing to think when trying to wash
out my eyes. Get clean. I find myself repeating

                                    shampoo in my hair, runs down.
                        The act of the beetle that rolls dung
            is not a complicated act. The name for the beetle
that rolls dung is not a complicated name.

This poem was one of the winners of the 2012 “Discovery” Poetry Contest.