Orchids for Breakfast


     Scent of earth perfumes
     his presence like fading life
     spun off a potter’s wheel.

     Hearing the shatter of his heel—
     the Achilles break—light
     onto the hearth he moves,

     I follow him into his room;
     a crackling symphony bright
     enough to consume

     My universe, I splatter through
     its gloom my confession I
     fire into the æther (my boon), telling,

The world would weep to know
even a fold of the tapestry
of your lustrous life,

The shine of which hits every
heart with its golden peal;
purer than first snow, white

Lines up in tendrils to steel
from mortal view heaven’s tomb
your opened mouth leads to;

The curl of your lip, that archer
of your kiss, do not limit his
influence when he fires onto my hips—


     Wanting to, wanting through
     all of his undoing to move
     into him, I circumambulate

     The box in the center, on the table,
     in the room which was once possible
     but now abandoned, now a tomb.

     Funerary offerings true enough
     to doom cast their edible residue
     onto his depiction, painting him

     Perilous, his soul hewed nude
     as if from an ancient forest he might
     have been subdued: captive to

Every alibi, excusable executions
by which ill-informed crowds now
disavow his truths—but I move

Deep into their abysmal ruse,
reveling in my revelations,
my rebuttals, my celebrations of a life

Of a man these etched guests
never knew, never attempted to—
and each wretch, he proves

That a life withheld from them cannot
be construed, will not be compelled to prove
himself to them, to conform to the sundown

     Reflected in the oblivion
     of their narrowest worldview;
     so I tell, trampling their ritual,

     Wake, all of you! I knew
     him, and his existence wasn’t
     contingent on your approval;

     No, he was a storm of unrelenting
     performance, never rehearsing
     but practicing his ending

     Whenever each of you he blew off,
     ‘in like a wind, out like a breath,’
     of himself he was sure—he knew, as I do, too—


Pockets filled with storms, I dig
and unearth apples of discord; Lazarus-
shaped tragedies filled with ash and intrigue

Which I project onto the crowd,
menacing to muddy them up
as they weep; a garden

Of unguarded heresies,
I hurl at these hired mourners
my mercenary miseries lifted

From my Hesperides; and onto
each thieving guest bursts
a blackness that runs from them—

     And with him, my beloved—
     into the reddest earth;
     and within my triumphant

     Winter, discontent sends
     up to heaven what ration
     the gods intended to be spent

     By poets, by madmen, lovers,
     and friends unwilling, on
     the holy servant all others

     Contempted—yes, him—the sacred sacrament
     I have finally perfected: stillness
     falls, freeing my husband.