The Part of the Bee's Body Embedded in the Flesh

     The bee-boy, merops apiaster, on sultry thundery days
      filled his bosom between his coarse shirt and his skin
                    with bees—his every meal wild honey.
     He had no apprehension of their stings or didn't mind
and gave himself—his palate, the soft tissues of his throat—
               what Rubens gave to the sun's illumination
               stealing his fingers across a woman's thigh
                  and Van Gogh's brushwork heightened.
                Whatever it means, why not say it hurts—
             the mind's raw, gold coiling whirled against
             air currents, want, beauty? I will say beauty.

From I Will Say Beauty by Carol Frost. Copyright © 2003 by Carol Frost. Reprinted by permission of TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press. All rights reserved.