mechanical bees

i didn't notice the change.
that summer was full of wilted mouths 
& flowers forgetting their old languages.
the mailbox became a doll's head.
our fingers parched, we soaked hands
in yogurt. walking out to the old pasture
we saw a cow catch fire. tried, desperately
to dose the animal in water. it was too late.
already there was crystal underneath.
they tell us there are solutions
in the works. we recieve a flyer on how
to exhale less. how to plant mangroves 
in our toilets. we do what we can.
re-use the plastic bags to carry
thimbles down from the attic when it's dusk
& time to take precautions.
it was you, my love, who noticed the bees.
your mother was a bee keeper.
often you would invite the insects
to stand on the length of your finger 
& one day they stopped accepting 
your gesture. wild & terrified you ran 
into the mouth of the world. you ask the bees
where they were keeping their ghosts.
the machines worked brainless.
drone technology touching the faces
of plum tree blossoms. i told you not to
but you killed one just to see 
the wires. held it up to me & said
"this is not a bee." what more
could i have done? i told you this is
what we have to do. this is what is left.
you shook your head. wept before 
scattering the machine bee debris
in the yard. truth be told i pretend
i never saw it. i pretend the bees are alive.
from a distance they hum all the same.
rise from white flower to bud.
legs kissed with yellow pollen.

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