Joy

by Stephen Ellis

There’s a red
glow, moving west
from China, and now

the last moments
at the luminous
horizon, as dusk

settles in, with its
gold and tangerine
streaks, liquid

bronze and then
black night, that
bursts in upon

the love of beauty
to which my soul
clings like skin

to its body.  Your
absence is only
the strain of having

felt so close to
the fire’s center,
a heart full of

dark orchids
that know what it’s
like to live,

and how to survive
what marks us
as different from

the others, even as
we join their ultimate
human effort, its

glamour and the tenacity
of working our
way to oblivion.