288: On the Turning of the Year

288: On the Turning of the Year

288: On the Turning of the Year

On the Turning of the Year
by Karen An-Hwei Lee

To witness five seventeen-year cicada
cycles in a lifetime—To hear an entomologist refer to cycles
as blooms

To say a metallic clicking noise repels the crows in our apple
orchard—To say cicada blooms explain the crashing
             bird populations—

To list reasons why I wish to murmur injunctions of praise
in the ellipses of fireflies—to wonder if a funicular monikered angel flight,

rusted out-of-commission on a city hill,
             a mourning dove over beds of grass-licked cloud, hovers—

To ponder the alpha and omega of eating
             salmon roe—To sing the floating syllables of winter suns—
trilling rose-fire of melisma—

To arrange stargazer lilies on a console so a day
             brightens—To seek an equivalent for nonexistence
                          not absence

             To pray until we vanish together, in sum—
             To say, without song, hosanna—at the turning of the year

"On the Turning of the Year" by Karen An-Hwei Lee. Used by permission of the poet.

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