[our] nightmare : no
the jungle was riven emptied
of [i sihek] bright blue green turquoise red gold
feathers—everywhere : brown
tree snakes avian
the snakes entered
without words when [we] saw them it was too late—
they were at [our] doors sliding along
the passages of [i sihek]
the zookeepers came—
called it species survival plan—captured [i sihek] and transferred
twenty-nine micronesian kingfishers
to zoos for captive breeding —they repeated [i sihek]
and repeated :
“if it weren’t for us
your birds [i sihek]
would be gone
what does not change /
last wild seen—
You can learn more about the kingfisher and hear its call here.
This poem is reproduced from Craig Santos Perez, From Unincorporated Territory [guma’]. Copyright © 2014 by Craig Santos Perez.
Image courtesy of Eric F. Savage.