Bestiary for the End Times

Ouranopithecus (Borneo)
You, forest man, orang utan
I’m asking where did you go?
Fourteen million years ago you joined us
and now you’re leaving? I think not.
There was a man called ourano
pithecus, an old forager in the
treetops. Look, an old Napoleon
grown shrunk and wooly he
would cast himself from limb
to limb in the great green empire of
the jungle gleaning fruit and
bark and leaves and crunchy
arthropods. From dawn to dusk
he did his thing. Together with his wife,
ouranopithecus, he went on living
uneventfully, slowly crafting nests
of dense and knotted foliage in the treetops
raising babies in the forest canopy, drinking
of the mist that matted his fur and juiced
his limbs, watching the rivers roll by
their succulent fishes flopping silver
speared by the sun’s savage blades of light.
And when he sang, his voice seduced the seeds’
hard vegetal bodies to split and sprout
wild small tendrils that swang into the treetops
like monkeys.
                             Oh you ageless wizard
of the most ancient forests of the world,
fourteen million years ago you joined us
and now you’re leaving? I beg to disagree.
The plantations eat you up, their fires erasing
entire islands of you, the agrochemical blaze
turning your gently woven nest to a toxic tangle,
that dry industry evaporating the dew that mists
your hundred million eyes, scorching the liquid of
your song that always woke the birds and kissed
the trees to life. No, my friend, we’ll stop
those motherfuckers from destroying you
if it’s the last thing we ever do.
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