A new poem by Greg Santos

At the Room of Extinct Species on my Daughter’s Six-Month Birthday

Save for the luminescence
bleeding from behind taxidermied
specimens evermore entombed
in their glass and wood display cases,
the room is kindly dark.

Over there, a colossal egg
from the elephant bird of Madagascar.

Holding my daughter close, I notice
her head is twice as small as the egg,
and I feel an overwhelming ache
that goes back millions of years.

My daughter chirps in the darkness.
I want to coddle the egg, hug its insides.

- The National Museum of Natural History, Paris, France