Bestiary for the End Times

Saola, or Asian Unicorn (Annamite range, Zornia)
“The animal best known for being unknown.” -- William De Beuys
She has moved with the seasons
for tens of thousands of years
in the last Pleistocene forest
in the rocky upper reaches
in the rain falling, laughing
she is backed up against a cairn
a deadfall a wall of granite
her horns out leveled
her musk glands flared
alive or dead against the predator
no one sees the saola anymore
no hunter snares her in his wire loop
no zoo or pen can hold her
in her vegetable lineaments
nor camera seize her ghost in its embrace
the saola in her fierce elusion will be saved
neither by the commandments of religion
nor by the will of science
                                                  and neither will
her captors in their ineluctable darkening
like the Greek who felled a sacred grove
they will perish not from hunger but from appetite
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