by Catherine Chandler
— Sir Philip Sidney, Astrophel and Stella
And so I searched, but all that I could see
to write about was this: a vacant room
whose occupants once held a tenancy
of woodstream orchids, where an old perfume
clings to its quiet corners, knows my key
will turn, a frequent caller to a tomb
already ransacked, sifting through debris
only a fool like me would dare exhume.
I’ve served my warrant, Muse, and I am pleased
to tell you that I’ve found the smoking gun
you always knew was there. So I have seized
it, tagged and bagged it. Now my work is done—
this evidence I can at last impart,
the delicate forensics of the heart.