10/18

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.

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