From the Eyewitness Book
The infant kangaroo hauls himself
arm over arm across his mother’s belly,
blind, searching by touch
for the opening of her pouch.
She offers no aid.
Once there, the joey locks on, thrives
on love entirely physiological:
nipple, fur, a temporary shelter
from the world.
Four thousand species,
almost a fourth of us bats.
Everywhere on earth
these two-page books
open and close and open.
Most of what makes us mammals
won’t show in fossils: not fur,
not milk, not that trick
our body-furnaces do with blood.
Those of us ancient, borderline,
known by fragments or traces,
declare ourselves by something
about the jaws, a few
small bones in the ears.