-George Washington Carver
It is the smell of her, I believe; the wafting, overpowering, sickeningly-sweet fragrance that permeates throughout the orchard. The immensity of it. I could imagine nothing greater.
He had never been a poet, had not once shown me any of his writing, but I'd always suspected from the turns and twists of his tongue that he had creativity captured in a little pearl at the base of it. I was struck by some curiosity one autumn night, had invited myself into the study, and found his poem. I found myself full by the end of it, but full of what I no longer know: hatred, awe, sorrow? I think it might have been all of them. And after I read it I saw her. Really saw her, not quite as he saw her but almost. And she was beautiful.
i. the lady in the orchard
I first saw you under the bright light when you were white and pure and
broken, tired, doubled over.
And all he had said was,
to be cared for."
The world outside is a hair's breadth away.
It is far too close.
For now we are in this room together but you will not look at me.
I cannot fix you. But I can give you a place that you can call
But you are too elusive.
through my fingers, fluid as water. My darling, won't you let me closer?
Her eyes are closed and her mouth curls downward. She is not soft.
She fills the room in swirls of bright and brighter pastels
and makes the air heavy.
Won't you let me make you whole again?
You, your vulnerability,
the fragments of thought that your footprints leave behind
are all that I yearn for.
The lady in white,
Seven years is a long time to wait
but not for you.
For you I would have waited forever
to see you in all your beauty.
Because in these fleeting moments when you are open,
when your scent envelops me and when you show me
that you really are,
in the roaring silence of endless seconds when you let me
breathe you in
it is worth all of the moments when you are closed and cold.
To smell you, to feel you, to own every single thing that is
To look at you forever, to watch you tremble at the slightest kiss of the wind
to be one, from now until the world crumbles away into particles of nothing,
to know anything and everything that is
That is all that I will ever need.
ii. a dance with winter
She had known him since they were children. He was a gentle man, sensitive and caring, and she had been in love with him for as long as she could remember. She knew all of him, his quiet voice and his soft hands and his flower collection. She had tried to keep their relationship together - had known that he loved her deeply - but she could not stay. He would never leave her, she knew, but he would never love her as much or as completely as he loved his orchid.
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