Orchid Talk

He cupped witch’s butter in his palm—cyanobacteria—things at bottom: roots
need fungus, refineries to process nutrients,

matchstick lichen, spewing oxygen and sugar. We briefly heard testament
of plastic cup, muse of catbird. Ibis’ pink

sickle probed for jewel
worms, auguries from the dead.
Under cabbage palm, strangler
Fig, and rootless air plant, Africa’s
dust fell, mixed with musk, spores,
seeds of syllables…infinity spoke,
almost mystical.

Get about the business of releasing gametes, he sniffed, our feet, a centipede,
undulating the trail, thoughts blown separate ways.

Out-paced by tortoise, searching for low blooms, my amygdala, a petal-trap,
tasted nectar and insect thorax. Grasshopper, mosquito,

snake are masters of this universe; don’t live in comfort—troubles, sex
between species, welcome! I have no tongue

finely tuned. Orchid,
pour out fire, dreams, perfume,
erotics of the inexplicable.

By Mark McKain

Mark’s work has appeared in Agni, The Journal, Subtropics, Blue Mesa Review, Superstition Review, ISLE, and elsewhere. His second poetry chapbook Blue Sun was published by Aldrich Press. He teaches screenwriting and creative writing in St. Petersburg, Florida.