During the night, the forests of my town
wait for the sugar coated morning light.
Monarch butterflies, looking like closed leaves,
cover trunks and branches.
Superposed on each other they form a single organism.
The sky turns blue from the cold. The first rays of sun
touch the racemes of numb butterflies.
And a cluster falls while opening its wings.
Another cluster is lit and the light effect
melts into a thousand flying bodies.
The eight o’clock sun open’s the secret
sleeping on the tree trunk, and there are wing
breezes, rivers of butterflies in the air.
The souls of the dead are visible among the bushes,
they can be touched with eyes and hands.
It’s noon. In the perfect silence you hear
the noise of a chainsaw coming towards us
toppling trees and mowing wings.
Man, with his thousand naked, hungry children
comes blaring his needs, and shoves handfuls
of butterflies into his mouth.
The angel says nothing.
Sergio A. Ortiz is the founding editor of Undertow Tanka Review. His collections of Tanka, For the Men to Come (2014), and From Life to Life (2014) were released by Amazon. He’s a two time Pushcart nominee and a four time Best of the Web nominee. His poems have been publish in over four hundred journals and anthologies.