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Dark Riser

Orchid greets me at five a.m.
Pink-purple on top throwing
itself like confetti at a surprise

party for me—lights on—or
like a surprise at least, standing
there in the tub with plump leaves,

wax paddles pushing to joy
in the late fall morning,
or if less excited, as it is still dark
this December falling to winter,

like the arms of old Christians


in the catacombs that are far

from here but still in gloom
like this bathroom without a window,

except the skylight that lets in the moon
when it is full or just about, but no air

for me or orchid, high and bright
in the worn plastic basin even after

I extinguish the only light