On the other side of this door
You are an oyamel native to the mountains of Mexico
Rising in a cloud forest of sister evergreens
Shedding pollen cones, shedding winged seeds
Our lost wings
singly and in pairs.
This is why the monarchs vanish
Raising sienna-hued colonies longer than my arms
Hibernating in Mexico where it’s hotter in January
than my front yard, where the red bougainvillea raves
And magnolias with a mauve rush on paper
And open as though thinking about last year’s novels
Read over the shoulders of garden-strollers
Obey the apostle’s exhortation
And do everything in love.
Source: Poetry (April 2012).
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This poem originally appeared in the April 2012 issue of Poetry magazine
Poems by Karen An-hwei Lee