Greater Bilby

by Michael Dumanis

This article only concerns itself
with greater bilbies, the extant
species of bilby. For the extinct
species of bilby, see
lesser bilby. How many people
have seen a bilby
or know what a bilby is?
Unlike other bandicoots, I
make an excellent burrower.
This blue-grey fur with patches
of tan feels soft like a receding
childhood in the dimming thought
of a lonely traveler. My sense of smell
is better than yours as I hurtle
along the barrens like a tiny
rocking horse. My fluted hairless
ears are the slenderest oyster shells.
I, like you, harbor unrequited
romantic feelings for God,
prefer the comfort of a nightfall
to the hot glare of anything.
Perhaps we must develop
a new appreciation. Fewer greater
bilbies than pygmy elephants soak up
the fraying, fragrant atmosphere,
than Ganges river dolphins. Once
I skedaddled through Adelaide
gleefully. Pin the whatever
on the whatever. The pages
of this encyclopedia I clamor through
wear thin. Soon I may see
in the dust my little cousin again.
For the time being, I presume
a future, and scratching for a termite
the hard soil around the bunchgrass,
unhinge my small jaw, proffer
my endless tongue.

Published on January 27, 2022