Systema naturae

Following a policy change, all flora
and fauna seized at our borders is no longer
incinerated. So now bio-officers
in crisp shirts and surgical gloves catalogue

today’s seized specimens—lichen, Star of Bethlehem,
sycamore key, mustard seed, common adder—and place
in plastic crates. Later when tubs, tanks, cages fill
relocation specialists cart the haul thousands

of miles to an uncharted island south of here

where scientists re-wild plant or serpent. Of course, measures
are taken: its existence denied, entries expunged
from all records, names quietly forgotten.