Prayer on Behalf of 11 Recently Extinct Animals

In the next world
when all our prayers are answered
the last machine
illuminated in dull blue light
scrolls down in lines of
continuous silent prayer:

Oh lord
    [Carolina Parakeet, 1939]
of commonplace miracles
    [Silver Trout, 1930]
forgive our joyless understanding
    [Passenger Pigeon, 1914]
our eyes too small to see
    [Golden Toad, 1989]
our tiny chambered heart
    [Caribbean Monk Seal, 2008]
our closed fisted hands
    [Chinese Paddlefish, 2007]
our bony shelled skulls
    [Pinta Island Tortoise, 2012]
our pointy words;
    [Tasmanian Wolf, 1932]
but if our days be unforgiven
    [Javan Tiger, 1979]
let's leave no history behind
    [Heath Hen, 1932]
so like all we have forsaken
    [Yangtze River Dolphin, 2007]
we’ll go without a sound.

In this world
we drive at night
headlights leading taillights leaving.
We work in groups.
We live in houses.
We are the tool makers
standing on the ageless sands of the moon
our web feet not touching ground
our cameras pointing back at the beginning.

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