Scoundrel Time

Final Animal

© Janie Geiser 1996, used with permission

Translucent amphibian or molecular
invertebrate, scavenging rodent

or stubborn ungulate, whatever
it is endures all manner of onslaught

for that imaginable unimaginable
forthcoming moment it’s the last thing

blinking and breathing in landscape
covered with almost comical

numbers of corpses, largely us, no
one living to analyze prayer as a form

of fluid dynamics or correlate lightning
to astral anomalies, no one remembering

the famed island let alone its tavern
where painters slugged each other

and how much a beer and shot cost,
no recalling terraced squatters’ shacks

of South America or the fact
ancient Egyptians believed frogs

emerged from flooding
and the coupling of land and water.