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Stephen MeadApril 21, 2022

We are letting go.
We can no longer care to feed you.
At nine a.m. cages, nets, moats, terraria
                       will be opened to effect your egress.
Water-bound creatures, the mammals at least,
                       be sent to our inland seas.
Insects let loose, amphibians too, reptiles and birds
                       arachnids, rodentia, lagomorpha, chiroptera—
Say goodbye to your names, your classifications, families, groups, kingdoms.
Because these are the New Dark Ages we must forget Latin again.
Only remembering the words for master and servant.
We are taking all our languages back to forget them ourselves.
Of course, we will still have your bones, your teeth, some of your ancestors in
amber.
Things that require no care. We will forget about them soon enough.
We want to thank you for the pleasure you have given our children when you played with your
children.
Thank you for bringing tourists to our town to spend their money here.
Thank you for never complaining about being in a cage.
We do not care that you have never thanked us.
We are sorry we cannot send you back to your native land or water—
Not that you could survive there any better, but still….

So, go. Go without names.
Go without numbers.
Go without knowing why.
Just go.

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