Asylum Poem By Quan Barry
The fish are the first to return:
the moorish idol, the black surgeon,
the trumpet and lesser scorpion, the angel
seemingly radiogenic, the goatfish
with its face of spikes. Whole phyla converging:
the devil rays in fluid sheets, the leatherbacks,
hawksbills, their shells reticent as maps.
On the atoll: the golden plover, the kingfisher,
egrets and honeyeaters,
nesting like an occupation. And the flowers:
the flame trees, the now forgotten, the wait-a-bit
all drawn to what we desert, a preserve
where the chinese lantern’s elliptic seed
is bone-smooth, cesium-laced.