Autumnal Equinox


Everywhere, the monarch butterflies crack
through chrysalises, emerging: black, white,
flame. Human bodies spill in the street,
dark in the daylight. Blood cascades down
legs of mothers as they cry out birthing
the children. Falling golden leaves land
on graves. Migrations across invisible lines
happen for insects, souls living and dead.
The waking hours dim. The wings are soft.

Suddenly, my infant son learns to lift his head.
My older boy begins to count: one, two, three...
Within, all paths are secretly wired in traceries
of neurons, scales, patterns. The networks grow
complex and burdensome. Melanin marks shades
of endangerment. Mothers grieve their living
children. History pages, pale sheets, ghost masks hide
in plain sight. Shiny badges and tear gas obfuscate
mirrors. What cannot evolve breaks down.

Always, the world turns in seasons. Ancestors stand
at our side, pleading. Hands, fists, hymns, shouts,
prayers rise in the air. Awakened ones run
with their heads down through fire. Harvests burn
in cornucopias. Truth flutters precariously between
the sun and the moon. Hearts probe like antanae
seeking freedom. Courage reconstructs in spiritual
cocoons. Children color an autumn rainbow:
black, white, flame. Forms for flight unfurl, alight.