There could be hothouses filled with orchids, or a copse
of hard rime-coated trees, or drops
of grey wax in a bowl of water. Or, there could be
nothing after this.

This is the first stage of recovery—
irises the color of wet ashes,
mouth filled with pomegranate seeds
instead of teeth.

At one time we were flowers (at one time, everyone
was flowers), inflorescence on a dogwood tree;
I am an archipelago of splinters, just below the surface,
waiting patiently—

Wrens haunt the cherry trees, clamorously chirping
like Saint Stephen was hiding
underneath, dropping stones and pits
on unwary passers-by.

And Saint Denis, of the lachrymose silences,
carries his head with him for all eternity,
artists never quite agreeing
where his halo should go.