Conversation with Bees

"Bluebell" by Kristi  Beisecker
“Bluebell” by Kristi Beisecker

We drink beer on a borrowed porch in Riverside,
waiting for the woman that lives here to find us—
somewhere she is buying fertilizer made of feathers,
molasses, everything that is sweet and unneeded.

I’ve never thought of feathers decaying along
with the bodies of birds after they’ve been hit by cars,
only of them slipping away or falling loose from a comforter
when it is pressed. Here it is: all things lose their form,

sift into tinier parts and this shouldn’t bother me,
except all my fears are of small things, like infant
spiders and how easily they won’t be seen or finding
I am less than expected or the single bee that has

followed me for a week, rising up from my windshield
when I start the car. What makes him want to find
a way inside? Is he drawn in by the way I cower
even though he cannot touch me?

It’s not the hive, hushed by smoke, its few lethargic scouts
knocking against my arms as I spool honey into jars,
but rather the small pain of one bee sting, the memory
of rubbing meat tenderizer into the skin. On the porch

the bees are in love with the shimmer of beer cans and one
lands on my beer lips. If I scream he will crawl inside,
and I’ll swallow him up, where he’ll stay, humming in the
odd chambers of my body forever. You say your fear

makes him want to sting. Just wait him out, and I think
of a woman’s self-portrait, her painted face bearded with
shifting bees. When I traced the raised umber dots I wondered
how long they’d followed her before she learned to be still

By Landis Grenville

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