Dear Stranger

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The Bali tiger (Panthera tigris balica), harimau Bali in Indonesian, or samong in the archaic Balinese language,[2] is an extinct subspecies of tiger which was found solely on the Indonesian island of Bali, and the first tiger subspecies to go extinct in recent times. It was one of three subspecies of tigers found in Indonesia, together with the Javan tiger, which is also extinct, and the critically endangered Sumatran tiger. It was the smallest of the tiger subspecies.

The last specimen definitely recorded was a female shot at Sumbar Kima, west Bali, on September 27, 1937. However, a few animals likely survived into the 1940s and possibly 1950s.[3] The subspecies became extinct because of habitat loss and hunting.[4] Given the small size of the island and limited forest cover, the original population could never have been large.

Dear Stranger
We know what her skin looks like because we ripped it from her body long ago. -anon.

Stranger, we search for our missing sister,
only knowing her by the measurements
stolen from her like a blister twisted
from skin, a secret fresh at her expense.

They said she ate their babies, their bruises
were shadows made flesh by her dread Spirit.
They pried fangs from the corpse head whose
species is extinct for the fear of it.

Born to the Bali village of "Wrong Guess"
she prowls now where hunters forget hunger.
In the land of the dead, God’s excised pests
slumber, earth appears as it was younger.

There is no end of the line for the silent,
stranger, yet, living cities are haunted
by her voices- unheard siren song’s strident
threatening. Dead, in death, said, she wanted

speech again. Mothers practice mouthing sounds,
psychoacoustic gusts, un-breathed, blood red
breath. Risen out grave-faced from underground,
to skull, she demands, “Give back my damned head!

.

Take me instead? I wish to give living
to erased sisters’ deep, blue vanishing.

But damage does not forgive misgiving
and Kings can’t banish acts of banishing.

.

we grieve for you like one in a desert, chasing the mirage of water:

this must be how we lost you. we stared straight at you.

but you kept changing into ether, into fire, into rock.