The gang of purple iris outside my window
have been calling me all day with soft
sexual lips, the graffiti of their yellow stamen, their
dark velvet foreheads, exclamation points of leaves.

Look at them trembling in the rain, their delicate bright
mouths streaming water. They may stand up until
tomorrow, if that, these scaly lumps I tucked
in bed last fall. They are wild, bewildered

by their excessive beauty. Already, one crumpling
towards brown, shouts: Where am I going?
How can we make you look?
I get up and go
to them. You are not mine, I tell them. You belong

to the earth, which loves you, and you are on
a journey like the butterfly who flutters with her
mates ten thousand miles to lay eggs in Mexico.
I am your sister, also traveling. We will meet again.