Thylacine

The Tasmanian wolf, or tiger
from its stripes we can now
only see in black and white
like ribs along the haunches
or prison garb. The last
known, called “Benjamin,”
died from exposure in a zoo.
For a man to become
a wolf is a form of melancholy.
The wolf in its melancholy
becomes a man. Now,
they say, the search for them
thought extinct, is on,
as inconclusive sightings mount.
I want to believe some
remnants running—
their distinctive snout—
the cryptid, found, says nature
can withstand our unnatural
wasting, mankind’s beautiless,
dead-eyed wallow. Nothing
escapes, of course, and nothing
follows.

***

Benjamin Harnett is a historian, fiction writer, poet, and digital engineer. His works have appeared recently in Pithead Chapel, Brooklyn Quarterly, Moon City Review, and Tahoma Literary Review. His story “Delivery” was chosen as Longform’s “Story of the Week.” He holds an MA in Classics from Columbia University and in 2005 co-founded the fashion brand Hayden-Harnett. He lives in Beacon, NY with his wife Toni and their pets. He can be found most days on Twitter.com: @benharnett. He works for The New York Times.

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