Suzanne Langlois: Extinction

A dodo lays an egg with a mirror inside.
When the egg hatches, the mother dodo
sees her own reflection and believes
her offspring to be her spitting image
and feels pride, but also a little regret
that the chick has the same deformed
middle talon on its left foot. In this way,
the god of dodos softens the blow that
she is the last dodo. When she dies,
someone will taxidermy her and stick
her in the extinct section of the natural
history museum. The god of dodos lifts
the task of grieving from the last dodo’s
shoulders and thinks himself merciful.
He forgets that when the last dodo is
gone—a meal for a predator, trophy
for a hunter, or just to the buckshot
of time—he will also cease to exist.
No dodos, no dodo gods. It’s a strange
sort of hubris, for a god to be so sure
of its own existence, which requires
the belief of a mortal being. A mortal
being is an unreliable basket to put
all of one’s godly eggs in. Regardless,
the dodo’s abandoned mirror rests
in its abandoned nest. Its abandoned
god dissolves the way seconds do,
one after the other, forever.

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