Sailors spit out gristly dodo meat, smashed one-egged
nests, cut down dodo legs mid-lazy-dodo-waddle,
yet in the sky above the earthly one, dodos finally love their ugly
heads and eat no more meals of iron and stones.
Dodos titter and tut over butterflies for breakfast. Excitement mounts
over larvae for lunch. Finally, across onyx heavens, the movie’s blaze.
The dodo show begins as it always begins— on Mauritius,
long before ships arrived. Food— plentiful, comfort— plentiful,
predators— few. Wings were long and lovely. Dodos shriek
delight at scenes of morning dodo mating in the sand.
Groans resound as time-lapse footage reveals night after night
of slumber, wings winging away, feather by gold-green dodo feather.
Cinema lengthens, time lengthens.
Understand— the reedits never end with dodo extinction.
Past the Indian Ocean, the sailors’ descendants wake: plump-bellied,
curly-haired, wide-eyed, waddling babes. Human food— plentiful,
human comfort— plentiful, predators— few. Conversations long
and lovely. The dodos clack, sob, stomp their dodo claws.
Dodos who recognize the ease and greed of evolution. Dusk after dusk,
they watch our children grow: TV, tests, twitter, texts.
How they mock us: our complacency, our years of minute subtractions.
An earlier version of this poem appeared in Stanza, Summer 2015
Rebecca Irene is a graduate of Swarthmore College, and recently received her MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her work can be found in Sixfold, and elsewhere. She lives in Portland, Maine, where she supports her word-addiction by waitressing.