• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 04
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Like Paper Envelopes

Autumnal festivals, here in Patzcuaro,
unfurl in anticipation of their arrival:
black and orange swarms, fluttering in
from the afterlife—these winged songs
we sip from death’s cupped hands.

Each year, we listen for their emergence,
the release of what was once encased.
A thousand chrysalides ripping open
simultaneously, like paper envelopes,
delivering perilous migrant tales.

I know your journey, mariposita:
how caterpillars starve in the waning
tallgrass prairies, how herbicides cough
contagions upon your precious milkweeds.

It’s a milagro we make it through!
These Monarchs are like us:
sun chasers, flickering selves,
invocations of resilience.

This is how ancestors make their reentrance,
how eternity quickens in our hearts,
how we scatter the pollen of resistance—


Like Paper Envelopes

after the shell breaks, after struggles,
after antennas start twitching in unison,
indigo slivers of ambrosia, nearing.


Mariposita: Little butterfly
Milagro: Miracle