it is clear to us that my own love for flora now hums in the very marrow of francis brown's bones. whenever we need to breathe deeper or start again, i take him beyond our walls, into the gardens and trees of central park. we are the same in this way: outside, we find paradise within.
and so it was the cold day we spent at the botanical garden. we went for the singaporean orchid show, sharing nibbles of manchego and fig in our window seat on the train ride north. we stood in amazement under varieties uncountable, jewel-bright and climbing arches and towers to float into the sky. moth orchids the color of late summer peaches were the ones he loved best, and so they were the ones that i, too, loved best. i held him in my arms as he wriggled and stretched his soft body closer and closer, answering their whisper-soft invitation: "come."