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It is difficult to say which I prefer: the initial desiring of orchids as we walked the atrium of Phipps Conservatory; the sight of you carrying one home on the 64A Squirrel Hill Bus, a brown box balancing on your knees, the cascading inflorences unmistakable dressed in tissue paper and cellophane.
its weighted claim on the kitchen table, filling me, the room, our apartment: arched green stalk fastened by effervescent fireflies to black reed, and above the spire a brief drift of white moth orchid blooms like tethered clouds; the china pot it rises from, already so much like an heirloom with its sketched-out storyline in enamel: the pheasants and marigolds in bold strokes of orange, blue, and purple, punctuated in green and gold; sharing the gift with guests or keeping it to myself; saying how I received the phalaenopsis and from whom; how the scent imbued into evening, gone, upon waking; the way I care for it, carrying the orchid room from room through seasons modifying the light, temperature, and humidity; the pruning, studying
and forgetting it ...
his single intention held