Bee poem

All day the queen has been chattering in my ear.
I cannot complain; I invited her.
Truthfully, I’m too fond of her—her buzzing shakes something deep in me
And I want to respond with my own cry.
There’s a hive in my lungs, sluggish, buzzing.
Waiting. What a glorious meeting of voices that would be.
But there are groceries and the dinner to be considered.
I can be insane on Sunday, but not right now, not tomorrow.
Tomorrow is important. Oh, but the bee is insistent!
I cannot control my hive at all. Maybe contain.
Contain. Contain what? Am I the keeper or am I the kept?
Do I hold my organs in or am I the organs?
Perhaps this is why I cannot face my own face.
The buzzing won’t let me be.
I don’t know much about beekeeping, but my faithful bee
Does and I learn from her, I learn how to bear the winter
Though she herself will not survive; she will forever dream of spring.
She leaves me jars of honey, six of them: six cat’s eyes in the wine cellar.
They were not left for me but I will steal their sweetness for myself;
I have no compunctions against it. After all, she is the bee
And I am her keeper. I will break her home and eat it.
Eat it. I am told it is my duty. I don’t know much about that,
But the sugar withdrawals poison my blood; so be it. So be.
It’s very convenient, that what they want from me I cannot refuse.
A bee tore from the hive, traveled my trachea, stung my tongue—
You can swallow around it, though, and well, the bee is free.
I can tolerate my bee-stung lips—I think they look marvelous.
Better the stings than withdrawal shakes. I spoon my honey,
Just a teaspoon. I guess that’s all right, but, oh dear, what about the dishes?
One cannot only live on honey.
Did you? Did you live on honey? Did you do the dishes
And change the babies, buzzing under your nose, wondering
How to make it sweet? The queen has no answers
For me, her chattering, though, permanently makes home in my ear-shell.
I breathe through the swarm; she’s awakened them.
They still might kill me. But so will the dishes, one day.
I should learn to put the bees to work. They should earn their living
And mine. The bees are wild beasts
But they will die, one by one, as I release them
And I am hungry, my mouth a rabid
Cave bristling with wings and needles.
Tomorrow then. Tomorrow I will set them free.
The dishes will last only through the morning.

© 2020 by Margarita Kos

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