Spring 1996 • Vol. XVIII No. 2 PoetryApril 1, 1996 |

The White Orchids

They do not use the air  as swans do, though furiously winged. This is how we'd like souls to rise:  a weathered clay bowl knotted with moss, the end table fixed  in a suitable light … then always this urge that's taught us,  toward immutable white, this flock of absences, high and far  from the grieving forest.   Silly really, like a Calder  someone's immobilized, but the indelible ink of this letter  I've read and reread tonight insists on opposites, on my climbing  that narrow green stair where those orchids pose—like a corps  de ballet—as something unreal, yet fierce with grace,  and riveting. 

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