Why must the noble rose
bristle before it blooms, and why
must the frost declare
allegiance to the dew?

Don’t tell me the robin’s
forlorn invitation
could not be denied.
I’ve heard the magpie’s lies.

Outside my window,
twenty-seven juncos
consort in a cedar tree,
fat and happy to be free

of all desire–ah, but
that’s not true! See
how they dance and turn
when I throw out the seed.