She mentioned that her shoe had come off
in the stairwell. A dress pin had dropped earlier.
Though it seemed to land somewhere on the carpet,
instead it had become a deep absence
looming, casting its distended shadow
across the room. “Have you heard of this?” I asked,
pointing. There was a photo of a large orchid
projected onto the sheet covering the window.
It was closed like a fist.
I was embarrassed to be caught spending time
so alone comfortably on a Friday.
“I must be very strange” I thought, but didn’t say.
Once in its life, I explained, the petals open to invite a beetle
and then lock it in for several days.
It has nothing to do except pollinate. Even if
a beetle is capable of joy, I don’t know
if this experience could be deemed an enjoyable one.
She looked happier than I’d seen her in years.
Soon after, when she was gone, Nick returned
and asked me what my favorite sculpture is.
Without thinking too much, I replied. ‘Giacometti I guess,
those ones.’ Tall, dissented, lost looking. But I hate
when men remind me of them lying undressed.
Suppose I have been to terrible places and forgotten them.
I can’t stop dreaming of strange toilets. Across the road,
the windmills look hysterical and glum.
I am afraid to find out that, beneath their clothes,
some of the people I know are horrible insects.