Priscilla Becker

Monarch

Your rule has made an August
of October and I am lazy
in my domicile as maple leaves
turn half yellow and forget
the ailing spectrum.
This season there are many
kings; I’ve made a shrine
to orange things, a coterie
of me and three domestic-
leaning cats whose naps fulfill
a mossy genuflection brought on
by molding walls, delays
in evolution.
I thought I saw you drinking from
a branch between the pickets
of a fence, and in two gestures
you define first aviation,
then verticality. And as I wait
for long-diverted patterns, triumphal
browns, the cat’s serene totem
of itself says there’s a lineage
denied me. Still I would like to rule
a small bud too, but I have neither
your erect and glassy wings nor
did I come from emerald shroud:
I drink the milk of thistle, preferring it
to natural motherings.


Priscilla Becker