Hunkered deep, every breath a strangled effort in January’s
icy squeeze, I duck into the greenhouse for a quick dip
into summer. Smothered in womb-soft humidity, muscles
slacken and my defrosted mind wanders a jungled riot
of vegetable life thick with soil scents and respiring plants.
I could live forever in this indoor tropical island paradise
of rubber plants, cacao trees, lacy ferns and tendril-grasping
vines from the endless Augusts of Africa, Indonesia,
and South America. Seduced by perpetual green, I’ve
fallen for the alluring lips of glossy, crayon colored orchids.
Thin light penetrating this crystal tent pours from sky
the color of frayed jeans. Flimsy glazing and furnaces
gobbling fossil fuel keep this artificial world refulgent
and sotted with photosynthesis when periodic arctics press
on the panes of a fragile fallacy.
I know about people living in glass houses, an evaporating
ozone layer, countless cars idling at stoplights and my
doctor’s melanoma warnings. A lingering adolescence
looks for a rock: “break glass in emergency,” school alarms
once instructed. Then I remember the cobwebby blue orb
captured in Apollo 8’s earthrise and imagine
the greenhouse floating in space.