Marías at Sampaguitas
Prose by Stuart Buck
The Ghost Orchid is a perennial epiphyte of the orchid family. Other names include the palm-polly and the white frog orchid. It is named the Ghost Orchid due to the petals striking resemblance to a spirit figure. It is incredibly frail and can only survive in highly specific areas. It stays alive by cannibalizing certain trees, most often the pop ash. It needs decay. It needs to dominate and smother to live. Your death is its life. It will stick its fingers down your throat and guide your tongue left and right, up and down. Palm Polly. White Frog.
The Giant Sphinx moth is the only insect that is able to pollinate the Ghost Orchid. It is the only insect that has a long enough proboscis. The orchid releases a scent like rotting apples in order to attract the moth. While the moth is aesthetically plain, the fact that it pollinates, and thus keeps alive, one of the world’s rarest and most beautiful orchids makes it an integral part of the ecosystem. It will slip its tongue in to the syrup inside the flower and pick up the pollen, then it will fly away in search of the next stench of rotting fruit. It exists to perpetuate the myth of beauty. Without it we would not have the Ghost Orchid. Palm Polly. White Frog.
In the humidity of the terrarium we remove our clothes. Two rare and beautiful creatures, each needing the other to survive. Our skin pricked with the brine of lovers. We explore our throats; let the fevered tremble of our blood pulse between the tips of our fingers. I write your name in the steam that lays soft and falls from the glass that imprison us. Two imperfect souls, bred in captivity, limbs wired tight, bent and reset in to anachronisms. They wrap tendrils of muddy green around our pale flesh. We open our mouths and soft white flowers shoot forth from our soundless screams. We become ghost. Palm Polly. White Frog.
Stuart Buck is a poet and artist living in North Wales. His debut collection of poetry, Casually Discussing the Infinite, peaked at 89 on Amazons World Poetry chart and his second book 'Become Something Frail 'will be released on Selcouth Station Press in 2019. When he is not writing or reading poetry, he likes to cook, juggle and listen to music. He suffers terribly from tsundoku - the art of buying copious amounts of books that he will never read.