MOTHER, WITH YOUR rebozo of cloud
wrapped around your shoulders in tatters,
hear me, my candles are lit.
In all the windows of my house
a flame burns,
blue tealights invite you to settle here awhile.
your last children are almost ghosts, bone,
spirits like skeins loosening,
the hold of their footprints on the land
evaporates in the sun.
Javan rhinoceros, vaquita, mountain gorilla, snow leopard,
in each country the list is shameful,
in each oyamel there are fewer tiger-flamed butterflies
yet if we listen
we can hear them fling their songs
through the remaining trees,
around the hollows of your body,
its mountain roots, gemmed, its dry riverbeds, its ocean cradles,
though this vast, intricate cathedral
has been lit with heat, fire opal.