blackbirdonline journalSpring 2009  Vol. 8  No. 1
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Catalog Note: Article of Venusian Handicraft
     Micron photograph, breast cancer cell

Stemless, you burgeon from your roots,
an amnesiac orchid, petals puzzled into collapse.

The black and white photo confers an extraterrestrial
nostalgia upon your labella and petioles;
an artifact of Venusian handicraft: primitive
gasweaving, stardust macramé.
                                                              You are shirred
and fine-stitched, silk-knot seed planted deep
within the sunless hour. Prune-tipped, seven-
fingered hands worked the grey into you:

you are comet ash, spacejunk shadow, the place
where color fears to go. Someone had given the nuns
from your native island a thread-bobbin and a starchart;

by the time the sidereal year was out they’d covered
the harbor docks and jetties in a cataract
of parallax lace. There was no unmaking you then.

In time your sulfuric cloques and goffers smothered
the planet wholesale, the sisters long-since strangled
in your threads: who needed makers once you’d learned
to spin yourself into wefthood?
                                                              Your new world
became bright and hot and untouchable.

Malignant frippery, even now you grow fat above our hearts.
You ornament us with retrograde satellites.  end

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