Stephen Stepanchev

Stephen Stepanchev
For Jane
I know that rarity precedes extinction,
Like that of the purple orchid in my garden,
Whose sudden disappearance rattled me.

Jane, in her way, is also beautiful.
And therefore near extinction, I suppose.
She is certainly rare and fragile of  bone.

She insists she is dying, day by dubious day,
And spends her evenings looking at photographs
Of  her mother, who never believed in love.

Rare Jane, I worship you. But I can’t deny
You access to the endless
With its river of cold stars.
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Strength to War
Dear stranger, reading this small, true book
By a simple man who loved much and wasn't loved,
Merging your own life with the lines on this page,
Lines that remind you of some frightening shore,
Cold rains, shipwreck, and loud winds and waves,
Stirring your lonely mind with brutal images
That conjure loves forgotten, fears disclaimed,
Joining your pulse with mine, tasting my blood,
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