Before the forest was widowed,
And postcards allayed the death of the Javan tiger,
In the beginning were rhymes of fraternal rivers,
Arias of willow, savannah curated by sunshine.
Before the cooing of passenger pigeons
Became a truant on the playlist of the woodland,
Reading the forest like a love story was the gazelle
In stilettos of hoofs, the ibex unshaven,
Limelight of antlers, the quagga in a cape of striped damask,
Before the silent roof of methane, tantrums of oceans,
Reindeer beneath the snow, seals in a breaststroke of mercury,
Before digital lemurs ascended in 4-D perjured trees in an honest forest,
And nervous flowers rehearsed the flame of future fire.
Remember, too, the whisper of the Amazon leaves
The village auctioned for the purchase of oxygen tanks,
Elegies in frescos for Antarctica’s memory of ice.
Remember the dialect of the earth before the forest was widowed.