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Clade Song 13

The Monarchs

Their perfect black outlines, the iron
around the delicate orange glass, the way
they migrate when they need to, lilting
like windswept petals over monasteries
along the California coast, the iron

crosses opening their arms, the fire
on wing fluttering, leaping, weaving over
orchards, rooftops, wineries, dusty palms
and the white gleaming mansions, pools
blue tourmaline, sapphire, the fire

from the summer, nothing more now
than a regreening chaparral, singed evergreens
poking high like long knitting needles, these
passing gorgeous threads, all that weaving
to gift away, rise, leave nothing more







J.D. Isip published his first collection of poetry,Pocketing Feathers, with Sadie Girl Press (2015). His second collection,Kissing the Wound, is forthcoming from Moon Tide Press (2023). "The Monarchs" is part of a new project tentatively titledAll Your Billows and Waves.He is a full-time English professor in Plano, Texas.