by Allison LaSorda
We don white hats and veils to check on your hive—
push toward each other’s newness, curtailed by safety devices.
A sting’s purple welt glares on your left calf. From the box,
you pull bee-crowded sleeves: workers’ movement steady
but erratic, sun strobes their effort. Pointing to hexagons,
you explain some house larvae, others reflect light
in honey, still others plastered over with wax. I pretend
to notice the distinctions, drifting into a future self
who readies ice and tends to your stung skin. A tin smoker
calms, masks alarm pheromones, & simulates forest fire,
during which bees will gorge on honey to save their bounty
and escape. It’s not panic, exactly, it’s instinct. Still, I relate
to the threat of an ending—the impulse to make meaning by holding
everything inside yourself at once, as much as you can carry.
Share this poem on social media with the hashtag #PocketPoem.
Allison LaSorda‘s work has appeared in The Fiddlehead, North American Review, Shenandoah, and Hazlitt, and she was nominated for a 2018 National Magazine Award for Personal Journalism.