Rebecca Foust

Last Bison Gone

Ours is the curse of the blighted touch 
that wilts every green shoot and flower 
we mean to admire, keep, re-create 

or improve. New Zealand’s Huia Bird, 
prized for her scimitar beak 
and pleated Victorian petticoat tail, 

was hunted extinct except for this 
diving-belled brooch and sad hatband, 
fast falling to dust

in the Smithsonian. We love what we love 
in the scientific way, efficient, empiric, 
vicious, too much

and always we touch it, our breath 
blooming algae on the walls of Lascaux, 
shimmering in acid-etch green.