“An Endangered Species Gets His License”


An Endangered Species Gets His License


It’s possible

that Mike, born

on the Africa Savannah,

a rhino, is unable to tell

a human from a tree

at fifteen feet.


Quick tempered,

three feet of horn

atop his forehead.

To him everything

is fuzzy; a mere flea

to an acacia tree.


Mike has this dream,

you see, of learning to drive.

Stamping his enormous foot

on the accelerator, gliding

through glittering desert air

faster than his could gallop.


It’s a conundrum, really,

how to fit his two-ton body,

covered in sandpaper skin

into a car make of fiberglass

that weighs less than he.

Leaning on this problem,


Mike sees he can unscrew

his huge legs, shrink his body,

ease it into the bucket seat.

His vision, someone points

out – – how can he see to drive?

In the Rhino News, it tells


of myectomy, how doctors

attach and reattach eye muscles

so after a while, even a Rhino

can read tiny text messages.

Learning to drive a tank

on an old Army field, Mike


buys a blaring yellow corvette,

learns quickly how speedometer

numbers must match ebony on ivory

signs alongside the road. To him,

the numbers are like rising cobra heads

catching his eye as he gathers speed.

What are you looking for?