I don’t tell this to people, but I buy orchids at Trader Joe’s when I’m sad. Google says to cut the stem after bloom. Clumps of leaves crowd my house. As a master I’m lax, no fertilizer, erratic water. Two bloom again this spring, a pink one and a lemon one, which sends its spike sideways. Is it supposed to do that? My spouse asks, when I point it out. But I don’t consider this a failure. The first of its faces looks curious on the probing stem. Nobody’s forcing it to bloom upwards. You’re not a soldier of an orchid, I say to its face, do what you like.


My thighs empty into my poem.