[ Taking a global perspective, Ohio poet Amit Majudar masterfully
links issues of ecology and refugees. ] [https://portside.org/] 

 PORTSIDE CULTURE 

 INVASIVE SPECIES  
[https://portside.org/2019-02-08/invasive-species] 

 

 Amit Majmudar 
 December 15, 2018
Massachusetts Review [http://www.massreview.org/] 

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 _ Taking a global perspective, Ohio poet Amit Majudar masterfully
links issues of ecology and refugees. _ 

 , 

 

INVASIVE SPECIES

BY AMIT MAJMUDAR

The bees are Africanized. All elm disease is Dutch.

The carp is Asian, the python of the Everglades 

specifically Burmese. The plague bacillus

sailed from India to Europe. Europe coughed 

khaki back at India. Everything is alien,

especially starthistle with its spurs and bursts, 

unearthly, mapping its home galaxy

like a foundling with a fleur-de-lys foot tattoo.

Though even lilies hitchhike—every ditch lily 

was once a tiger lily, treasured in the garden

of a Mughal. Everybody thinks the Mughals

Indian, but Mughal comes from Mongol. 

Invaders make themselves at home and home

remakes them into natives. Everybody comes

from someplace else where they were royal

refugees. We flower where we flower,

flinging roots like ropes from runaway 

hot air balloons to snag a city’s skyline. 

It never feels like an invasion when

you’re doing it. It feels like parenting,

like cooking what you’ve always cooked, like dancing

with your grandma at a noisy wedding.

But then you turn to see the horrified

park rangers staring at you, calling in

the experts—look at this, what do we do, 

they’re everywhere. You wonder who they mean,

but then you see. Their poison hemlock? That

is you. Their brown tree snake. Their killer bee.

Amit Majmudar is a novelist, poet, translator, essayist, and
diagnostic nuclear radiologist. He writes and practices in
Westerville, Ohio, where he lives with his wife, twin sons, and
daughter. His latest book is _Godsong: A Verse Translation of the
Bhagavad-Gita_, _with Commentary_ (Knopf, 2018). Two
novels, _Sitayana_ and _Soar_, are forthcoming on the Indian
subcontinent from Penguin Random House India in 2019, as well as a
poetry collection in the United States, _Kill List_ (Knopf, 2020).
His prose has appeared in _The O. Henry Prize Stories 2017_ and _The
Best American Essays 2018_, and his poetry has appeared multiple times
in _The Best American Poetry_ anthology.

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