Sebastian Schloessingk


On laundered tablecloth, amid cutlery
and lesser glimmering useful pots and cellars,
stood a five-inch-high silverplate dodo,
recent gift to our host. Leaning forward somewhat
on large strong silver feet, claws well spread. I said,
very topically, that is exactly the stance

one needs on this ice, weight forward. Then a lively
disagreement took flight around the bird. Was it
sailors off colonizing ships who fanned out
scooping them up, sitting ducks with meaty
bodies, thighs? Or was it, as the other au-fait
camp maintained, ships’ dogs that slavering went

hoovering up the dodo eggs from that clumpy
defenceless paradise. Or else, I conjectured,
looking closer, weight forward, at features scored
darker-true with robust craft, they just got too damn
ugly, and male (silver) dodos, weight backwards, couldn’t
bring themselves to do the necessary any more.