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Zoo, Jardin des Plantes

Bee at the rose’s center, I’m participating
in a fad that in a century will seem
arcane, barbaric, a small crumpled photograph
in a drawer or cloud might contain me,
nearly out of frame, in the hands of
some ancestor, who’ll see my dress
as incredible costume, like kangaroo or zebra,
the ship-bedraggled dodo, understood
too late. What can a narwhal suspended in
nothing say? Or the whale’s skeleton,
its lost cumulus body, erased by the welcome
ease of peach glacé on the Île de la Cité?