fragments in waiting by Gessy Alvarez

The orchids fell off the stem after hanging on for three months.

Violet petals browned and shriveled leaving two tall stems bereft.

Succulent leaves lay open at the base, waiting or rejoicing.

Beaded water absorbed by the green arms.

Day after day the leaves, the stems luxuriate in sun.

Sitting atop the radiator cover, steam heat 

providing the tropical warmth, giving life.

A stub growing a slow centimeter at a time.

A year, six months, a long stem sprouts perpendicular.

Too small and spiritless until it blows up to violet embryos.

Until a new orchid flaps open, its center like the face of 

an insect that will never move its stare from the center of your universe.