Patricia Caspers

Piece from a Kosode with Ginkgo Leaves, Waves, and Butterflies, Japan

Portrait of God as a Girl Ginkgo

Before words, there was a cool slake of river,
the depths I quarried, and the silver eddies
where I shucked each spent leaf—
amber fluke, tattered wing of swallowtail—
the silt cradle where a single blade might press
its shadow into the firmament.

You complain of my creature odor,
name the scent vomit, semen,
but I blossom green as spring, grow
golden with summershine, orbit
my own self with small, dazzling suns—
and if their ripening into the future
offends your human senses, I am not sorry.

Come glacier, come tiger moth, come beetle, come
fission, come Adam with concrete and smog,
the workworn hands that bind my roots
in shallow city boxes, fingers that each autumn
gather my seeds from where they land on the asphalt
where there once was a river.

Patricia Caspers is an award-winning poet, columnist and journalist. Her poetry is published widely in journals such as Ploughshares, Valparaiso, Sugar House Review, and Terrain. She won the Nimrod/Hardman Pablo Neruda Prize for poetry, and her second full-length poetry collection, Some Flawed Magic, is forthcoming from Kelsay Press in December, 2021. She has an MFA in poetry from Mills College and lives in the foothills of northern California where she edits West Trestle Review.

Edward Donovan, 1768-1837, Blue Mountain Swallowtails

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Spring 2021