Today's poem is by Diane Lockward

        They are hot and moist in operation, under the
        dominion of Venus, and provoke lust exceedingly.
                        —The British Herbal Guide, 1653

Such flowers must be used with discretion.
Love of them becomes obsession.

A man pursues an orchid as he once
pursued a green-eyed woman. He hunts

in Florida swamps, Thailand, and Brazil,
delirious with lust, blissed on the smell

of dust and mulch, steamy veil of moisture,
breathing pores on leaves, tessellated lure

of waxy sepals, pouched lips, and tubers,
stamen and pistil twisted together,

inflorescence of Phalaenopsis,
Vanda Sanderiana, Cryptanthus.

Dream-haunted nights—ghost, slipper, and spider,
the deep plunge to the nectar inside her.

Copyright © 2017 Diane Lockward All rights reserved
from Pirene's Fountain
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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