Orchids are a tongue knot right in your mouth.
I spent the whole autumn at the lips of them,
like if I got enough bees to die at my feet
I could bring you to yours.
I tried to dig the grave with orchids
but I couldn’t stand to watch,
letting their heads hit the ground like that
without helmets. Like ragdolls.
Your mom said all she sees is your fall.
I made you out of orchids.
A motorcycle out of asphalt.
Tied a letter to the flowers for your mother,
this isn’t your fault.
I tried to bury orchids instead of you.
I tried to plant orchids instead of burying
anything, but the pastor told me I’d forgotten
why we were there. I had petals
lying all around me & the bastard
didn’t seem to care. All talk of heaven,
that you would surely be there.
Orchids sing haunting songs.
I know them all.
I searched the web cherry picking for proof.
Only one website for funeral planning confirmed
my belief that orchids are symbols of mourning—
I mean look at how their throats leap, how their necks bend
from carrying all that sweet grief.
This website—can you believe it, baby? They wrote
cue Whitney Houston, as a joke, & they don’t even know—
don’t still hear your voice belting
those words in the kitchen.
I filled the funeral home with orchids
& they asked me not to come back, like
I wanted to.
I see orchids in my sleep.
They make wonderful terrors—
bodies so unpredictable,
so vulnerable. & I will always love you—
what a wonderful terror.