Amanda Clouds, one bee poem for you today, one for tomorrow.
Marks The Spot
In the field behind the church
and just west of the lynching
tree, you led me to a vacant
beebox, where over many days
and months you had hoarded stolen
loves of mine. They refused to fly
when you opened the lid: a toothache
kit from the old war; a Spanish
comb, a Hong Kong dime; a bottle
of liquid mercury. No less strange
or private than when tucked into my hope
chest, they’d been rendered stingless,
and my hands hovered but did not care
to descend or touch. I froze there
in your line of sight, my cousin,
a mad boy seduced by my fidelity
to distances, the flight only certain
girls realize. How slow
the spinning world, after fifteen
long, blossoming summers!
How narrow and immediate.
I thought: I will paint honey
into all my locks, and stop him.
The day swayed like a drunken fool, I missed
the bees, I miss them still, I mourn
and resent them as if they were the thieves
who put this lovely, piercing hex on me.