I am the tarred and feathered stork
Who flapped its limbs until they stuck.

I am a tapir ancestor
Who came for water, swallowed tar.

This is the asphalt killing-ground,
A lake that thirsts. Beware. Be warned.

His trunk a blowhole out of reach,
A mammoth trumpets liquid pitch.

We are a pack of dire wolves
Who scented death and mired ourselves.

I am the grief of a giant sloth
Who drank the waters of black death.

Lion and lioness salivate
At bison ready trapped to eat.

Coyote, jaguar and puma
Die for a taste of dying llama.

A squirrel bleating in distress
Allures a rattlesnake to death.

The tar immobilizes both
The short-faced bear and sabretooth.

The water winnows skeletons
Caught in a trap of sun and rain.

I am the skull of the only human,
Anonymous La Brea Woman.

The sump of ancient swamp-remains
Swallows the battles of old bones.

The eagle and the condor drown
In liquid nightfall underground.