• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 03

Séraphine and The Tender Claw

Séraphine has heard of the tropics
and of the multi coloured feather birds that
fly from and perch on a canopy of trees
that not only feed but also support and shield
many types of orchids from the torrential rains.

(Cattleya purpurata is one of them.)

Séraphine has heard of the tropics;
of the solitary leopard that stalks the riverbed;
of the otters that hide when it appears. She's heard
of the people living there, their faces painted
with pigment extracted from the core of trees; and how they
go about brandishing arrows of their own making.
She’s heard of the harpy eagles that build nests
on the Brazil nut tree.

Séraphine listens.

Séraphine lights a cigarette, it sticks to her lower lip —
the lower lip once gently bitten
by a man whose name
is a well-kept