beard of bees trust begins with the chin. when i first came out as a man someone told me, "you're going to have to shave all the time." the bees make a hive in my gender. omens of future candles. arriving on the oldest air. the bees have lantern in their yellow & brass trinkets dangling in their thoughts. whose bell is ringing? i treat razors like gardening tools. a weed opens from my neck. i want to be pollenated. to bear apples & plums. feel seeds heavy with future. the bees know all there is to know about skin. each lands & nestles in my warmth. rows upon rows of visitors. what is the distance between bee body & my flesh? whatever it is, it lessens. soon they are all thrumming. my face, the face of a drum. bees talking about bloom & butter & believing in ghosts. bees on my top lip. their fur & their sticky legs. closing my eyes i dream i am made of nothing but bees. soon the hive will call me to return. i will be thousands of fragments each searching for their own moles of sweetness. but, for now i am just a boy inside a gender inside a flock of bees. one whispers a secret into my ear. no, i can't tell you the secret. if i did, the bee would return disgruntled about our broken trust. instead i will tell you before he departed he said, "you can always come home to the hive." i nodded even though i'm not sure how. pat my face dry. swish a razor under warm water. all the tiny hairs in the sink. the legs of bees. pollen on the windowsill.