Song of the Oyamel

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.

More Poems by Karen An-hwei Lee