In the north window, one last orchid
wilts and falls: a shriveled moth.
Phalaenopsis, it’s called.
The plant rests–
flat, sturdy leaves like cows’ tongues.
I watch for a new sprout
but orchids take their own time.
They never hurry.
After a late frost, beyond the window
roses leaf out in an explosion of green.
Rosebuds appear overnight.
Solomon’s seals are even quicker–
An inch or two in a day.
For the orchid,
one millisecond lasts an hour,
progress of sap through xylem and phloem
too slow to imagine, while in my veins
my own blood hurtles.
Time gets away from me
but the orchid rests in its own time.
I tear open a cellophane “Kumato” package–
tomatoes all in a row. I pull one out,
dark brown with hints of green, and
like the orchid plant, it came from a greenhouse
and has never known a garden.
I slice it over a bowl
to catch every bit of the sweet juice.
A bit of salt, a sprinkle of black pepper.
Now is the only tomato there is.