Pyrenean Ibex. Capra pyrenean pyrenean. 2000
Where your horn bunts crack
like sixteen sudden balls through a pool hall,
over and across dry Pyrenees cliffs, gorse and pine.
Thick intricate protrusions, warped bristlecone arms
curved outwards and backwards then outwards
and downwards and inwards and downwards:
bone age-abacus ringed like a tree.
The ridges intensify with time,
I see it in the face of my father and his.
Your accordion fur according to season
faded with summer, I know, I know, and returned
radiant, radiant, brown-red refulgent and full.
The first animal unextinct, expired in seven minutes.
How was the brief redux? How did you think we were doing?
Baiji Dolphin. Lipates vexillifer. 2006
As the story goes, a princess drowned by your ancient family
after refusing a man you did not love, you resurfaced
The Goddess of the Yangtze, grey and white and pink moonstone.
Maybe there was woman in your little human eyes, black eyes
blind in black water. But your song echoed location
and the dim river illumined crisp.
Then came the dam, propellers and sub-surface jackhammers,
water reverberating with clutter clouding the third eye
and you were lost. As we go under in the bath sometimes,
you tried to push your head to the sky, into silent vapour trails,
instead finding the wake of harmful boats big as fallen buildings,
men shouting from shore. No peace in either place.
Dead again on the bank of the Yangtze, but not because you didn’t love us.
It was simply unrequited.
Vincent Pagé has poetry included in Prism International, The Malahat Review, Event, and Geist, and released his first chapbook, Veinte, with Vallum Chapbook Series. His second chapbook, IN A BURNING BUILDING THE AIR IS HEATED BY FIRE AND SO BECOMES LIGHER, is forthcoming with Desert Pets this fall. He lives in Toronto.