"The sight of a feather in a peacock’s tail, whenever I gaze at it, makes me sick!"
—Charles Darwin, in a letter to Asa Gray (3 April, 1860)
This one clotted like old blood.
I took several stabs at it. I wrote it in spurts.
To you, who met me at my most sacred,
I bear the imprint of violence.
I tried to clean up that swamp of lacunae
with grandpetrine infills of language.
No cities arose is a rose from it.
I was lent form and asked for my terrors.
Epiphytes, like birds of paradise, were once
presumed to lack foothold, to be
—as they say—
not for purchase.
But I have feet of my own making
which I have pulled out
from under your sleeves.