About the Bees
I do think of them from time to time— just now sucking the pulp of a tangerine the taste of which is mostly texture, in this spin-drunk season that seems to forget —us. —itself. At the job I lost, their husk carcasses with the locust bean’s cracked brown pods rustled on the brick steps leading into the white-walled hours of computer screen; their compressed toil missing from the hives they left agape in the backyard of the next-door neighbor who, recently divorced, had brought us the jars of honey I spooned into teas I sipped in the break room and watched at the window as he continued to tend the needle palm and hydrangea. In the age of loss there is the dream of loss in which, of course, I am alive at the center— immobile but no one’s queen— enveloped (beloved) in bees, swathed in their wings’ wistful enterprise. They pry the evolved thin eyelids behind which I replay the landscape as last I knew it (crow feathers netting redder suns), their empire’s droning edge mindless in the spirals of my obsolescing ears. Beneath my feet what kind of earth I’m terrified to break into sprint across to free myself, to free them from the myth they make of me and then bury below their dance of manufactory; what kind of future they could die for if punching into me their stings— what future without risking the same; and while, in either body the buzzards of hunger conspire, what kind of new dread animal, this shape we take?
Copyright © 2018 by Justin Phillip Reed. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 1, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.
About this Poem
Justin Phillip Reed
Justin Phillip Reed is the author of Indecency (Coffee House Press, 2018).
Date Published: 2018-02-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/about-bees