An orchid catches the sun
curious to day.
We Cannot Open Like the Orchids At Ten
Let us commit to unthinking
– each of us an oyster
holding tight for knives.
Outside, rain sweeps the driveway.
The unheard are still unheard
and the madwoman yells at the tree.
Inside, our fingers wrap around our own wrists.
Stop your thinking. I will do this small
kindness for you. Let me remind you of the ocean.
A bruise across sky moves
west, and West precedes it, tilts
out of reach. The momentum
of day resists inertia, moves
on, unfelt from the ground.
My mother tends
to her plants, also purple.
She says, it must be the anchors
at the bottom of the bay.
Don’t fish there, I say, the watercress
knows. She returns to the orchid.
The rain has left mirrors on each petal.
Listen. A flower
is a flower is a flower is a flower.
What would it say of all your groping?
The head is empty – our words
wither within. Hollow and silent
like plums drying on the beach.
History makes it so – the weight
of our mouths are apples
in the throat – too red.
There is no consolation for
the moth that hovers an inch
from warmth. From the flame’s
point of view, the spark does the dying.
And the flowers!
They lie too – just before death.
Can you blame them?
The air drops quietly over
grief. Still, when the sound falls short
of the tongue, catch it between your teeth.
A runner runs. Feet
hit the pavement
at an internal pace
commanding rhythm of lung
and depth of breath.
tic to different tunes
despite the smith’s urge
Time – a vine
let loose from its root.
By noon, our fingers
are swollen petals, the air
is thick for drink, and intent
We do not feel it, but Earth
moves under us without apology.
The finish line, fragile and silent, shifts.