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15.  Winterbloom

They smell like rare raven orchids,
A black sand volcano beach.
 
They zig-zag like the bone collector spider
Of Costa Rican caves,
Ink-faced, jewel-backed, suction-footed.
 
They eat crumbled crusts of questions
Like emaciated crows
Down from the ice-crippled tree.
 
They follow me
Like a militant swarm of bees.
 
I will never
Surrender them to the authorities,
Dissect them to learn their biology,
Attempt to remedy them with light.
 
Some mortician will have to pry them
From my clenched fists,
 
The shadows your body made
On my ghost-white flesh
The day I knelt beside you
And confessed the sins of winter.

poetry & photos © 2006 Rebecca Lu Kiernan

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