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Both Sides

All the dark honey from a winter garden sags in heavy combs, and the buzz 
begins, back where the hand fumbles in the dark, barely
clear of the bees, the soft fur and the clicking black: divided sex,
divided tasks, the guarded and the guards. The hand exchanges cells, new
edges to wax and sweet, and then the hasty withdrawal. This leitmotiv
for saving, spending, thievery. Every summer the same tableau:
good honey spilling from the burst comb, split figs on the plate, another harvest
has ended. Give us this day our daily. Give us the rational methods.
I have watched a man lose his entire arm to darkness, to close air
jagged with glossy legs, and come out intact, free of sting, calm as a tranq.
Keeper for life. I don’t have that kind of trust. For me the bees turn up
like bad omens, one in my hair, one on my pillow, the clear wings too
much like glass to not wish shatter. Inside each bee, a pattern
not much different from the first set of signals. The regular eroticism
of order. Our daily pollen, gathered. Our rational gods in this spill
plumped over the bed. When I saw his arm enter the mass, I prayed he’d come  back
quietly, but he has proclaimed his survival to all who would listen, like a raj
resplendent, riding a palanquin on the back of an elephant. I
said we should have no more stumbling in the night. I said it was foolish
to hitch himself to just one queen. When he touched me, the gag
untied, and all my speech split open. The cells lifted, the wax peeled off,
veins of rich sweet seeped out of me and I was a box of unknown tremor, love
when such a word was wanted, desire when there was a want of need.
Xylitol refused, saccharine denied. The real deal. If poppies bloom, then narcotic.
Yellow daffodils: virgin soft. He crumpled my frame with his thick thumb.
Zapped me quiet, burned me out, left me buzzing in my own golden sea.
Posted 05/06/13
Previously published in Gigantic Sequins
Books by Rebecca Hazelton
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