Monday, October 8, 2012


It is the stripe of midnight and lavender this evening, the latter diagonals shot through with contrasting threads.  When he couldn't sleep, he often went into the orchid houses, armed with only a lantern lighting a small space at a time.  It was silent there, the heavy, damp quiet of a night in a Sao Paolo shantytown, late, when everyone was either passed out or just dirt-tired.  He breathed in the delicate perfume of the frail flowers, tenderly patched the sphagnum moss of their pots as if tucking them in their beds for the night, now and then cooing as he found a new bud or blossom.  Ceaselessly pushing a shock of white hair away from his eyes, he worked on for hours, tending to his charges and singing lullabies in Portuguese.