She draws out wings, exposing the naked shape of the butterfly.. Tang Da Hong
My black hair is straighter than theirs,
my skin more gold than brown;
but in this camp by the river bank
we’re mostly the same settling down
to rest and catch our breath.
The night comes robed in sackcloth and prayer.
No longer an atheist
that’s how I perceive the twilit air
needing to weep, perhaps atone.
My family is still in Beijing
with a farm to tend and fees to pay.
I’ve overlooked their suffering
to pursue my freedom of faith
and will. The others lament in old
dialects while the fire rants
in wayward sparks that mute the cold.
Orange specks flying here or there,
I’ve seem them flare in other ways
when butterflies skimmed the grass
mindless of the hours or days
it took to travel this far north —
a sweeping caravan of wings.
At the moment, my nerves broke loose
and became those splendored beings
who held the power to defy
borders and bandits in their haste
to smuggle drugs and leave their poor
on acres of heat and scrubland waste.
And at the moment, there was no fear
or guilt shadowing the breeze,
just a miracle of monarchs sent
to put my restless mind at ease.