Island of Cows-São Miguel, Azores

Primavera tries to cross past the wire
to reach the fallen golden nêsperas.
I stroke her head. She nibbles my clothes. Her
Maya-blue irises beam through my heart.
She licks my cheek with her warm, soft
sandpaper tongue. She and her pals graze
ryegrass patch by patch, free & docile
between mountains & sea. Twice a day
the cows give fresh fragrant milk; the cats
& dogs await their treat. Below, green
& blue lagoons, still crystal water, are
circled by firetrees & junipers. From
the volcanic top, heifers—virgin mothers—
line up, watch me leave, deeply lowing.

Xiaoly Li

Xiaoly Li’s poetry has recently appeared in American Journal of
Poetry, PANK, Atlanta Review, Chautauqua, Cold Mountain Review,
and elsewhere. Xiaoly received her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering
from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Masters in Computer
Science and engineering from Tsinghua University in China. She
lives in Wilmington, MA, where the infamous Baldwin apple was