This is no flash flower,
this unfolding page of text
a starfish all at sea in hard print.
Botanists call this stranger
a carrion. Its odour is unpleasant,
designed for blowflies,
not us, a tie of demand that hurts.
Glabrous, all it can do is embellish,
in an almost ordered way.
I am reminded of stacked boxes
in a factory, kilometres, all neat,
the stacker immiserated,
immersed in a flight of thought
against the clock.
There is another way.
In the patch this stapelia
extends a firm, scrawny arm
clutching a closed envelope
like a secret.
Only one flap of the corolla is open.
Try measure the day by how many words it takes
to float the chrysalis