Portrait of the Future as Prehistoric Fish

A sturgeon washes up on the beach, 
   loosened or dredged from some ancient 
ledge. Another reminder of how there's no 
   almanac for the time we're living through— 
Our century's mouth, constantly rooting for  
   the inscrutable fundament of prehistory, 
wanting some token of life's endurance. Here 
   it is, then, after a fashion— Pillowed by
the tide, head of yellowed ivory snapped clear
   of its body but still attached to a dull  
sheath of armor, ridged and scaled. I can't tell 
   what's soft in what remains; nor what kept it
nearly whole, down in the depths where barely  
   any light tendriled for 120 million years.

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