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On the Turning of the Year by Karen An-Hwei Lee

Updated: Jun 3, 2023

On the Turning of the Year

by Karen An-Hwei Lee

published in Spoon River Poetry Review, Issue 43.2, Winter 2018

To witness five seventeen-year cicada

cycles in a lifetime—To hear an entomologist refer to cycles

as blooms

To say a metallic clicking noise repels the crows in our apple

orchard—To say cicada blooms explain the crashing

bird populations—

To list reasons why I wish to murmur injunctions of praise

in the ellipses of fireflies—To wonder if a funicular monikered angel flight,

rusted out-of-commission on a city hill,

a mourning dove over beds of grass-licked cloud, hovers—

To ponder the alpha and omega of eating

salmon roe—To sing the floating syllables of winter suns—

trilling rose-fire of melisma—

To arrange stargazer lilies on a console so a day

brightens—To seek an equivalent for nonexistence

not absence—

To pray until we vanish together, in sum—

To say without song, hosanna—at the turning of the year

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