Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


West Virginia

Fall kingdom conquered first by bedlam,
then bedlam’s hunger—hush—heavy
in the air between the hills that crash
like waves into each other. What is a hive
without its queen? Thirst can rule, so can want.
A crown of needles, a gown of clouds she parts.
Bees in the streets below, their tongues
like hands reaching to the sky for an offering.
This is what want does, this and the raindrops
becoming pills in their throats, spurring wings,
all that fluttering the hum of a false heaven.
And who, through that, can hear a few wings
folding under the weight of death? It is too late.
Like timber, like anthracite, death is a natural resource.
The colony glows. The colony does its work.
 

Credit


From I Know Your Kind (Milkweed Editions, 2017). Copyright © 2017 by William Brewer. Used with the permission of Milkweed Editions.

Author


William Brewer

William Brewer is the author of I Know Your Kind (Milkweed Editions, 2017).

Date Published: 2017-10-02

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/west-virginia