Moth Orchid

Moth Orchid

                        Phalaenopsis Amabilis


Because your roots are purely metaphorical, 

your feet planted crudely on packed soil, 

you incline toward airy associations. 


Why else compare us to that drab animal 

ravaging your closets, a fool for any

naked bulb?  Look at it now, its abdomen


pressed to the window, romancing

the cold moon! At least those Greeks 

your botanists are so enamored of 


devised a way to tell false light from true—

God in a shower of gold?  He comes to you

Mornings, in our case, when our pallid need


has stirred him out of sleep, and he climbs

hot and high through the kitchen window, 

filling us lip and tendril, budding us 


stalk by stalk.  We understand it’s different 

with your kind—hurried and in darkness—

thirsting to be known as we are known.


Think of us as a crowd of white faces 

who’ve seen this and more:  

watched you lie down in his bright beam


that you might be entered like that

and rise, with his heat in your hair,                  

dimly conceiving.