Like Thomas plunging prurient fingers
into Christ’s bleeding side, Shaw slid
scissors under brittle skin, snipped
through dead fur to find stitches beneath
where none existed. Impossible
that such a creature could evolve;
bird bill and feet, beaver tail, venom
snake-like in a spur on the ankle,
blind young slithering from eggs to suck
milk from mother’s skin instead of teats.
Surely this was another jackalope.
Only man could conceive of such a farce.
But still it swims in southern waters,
safe now from hunters and tanners, ogled
endlessly by scientists who seek some sign
from worn and scratched fossil records.
Play them backwards and perhaps we’ll hear
a secret message from the divinity, a whisper
soft as a sleek body sliding through water,
telling us to be not faithless, but believing.