The heart hammers -— you make the skin,
I'll break the skin. You make the skin,
I'll wear it. You rattle the yellow paper
of the lungs -— I'll ride down through
the spinning air, into lentic language,
burrs, sundial blitzes, cures and curses.
Listening to the washband hum blue standards,
Sunday standards for your pleasure,
to distract from the frightening
bite and spice of honey. A long leg,
ice-cube on the knee. Basin on the ledge -—
filled with the trumpet's repeating flat.
The young stage of a bee, the smartest one,
flies low over the meadow. Over the smooth phlox,
meadow phlox, sand phlox, sweet william.
The young stage of a bee says, honestly,
she'd put you in a box just to feed you honey
through the lock. Clever bee,
pressing her little sting. No, I insist, you must.
Imagine such an unforgiving gene
as that—one chance to fight back,
one chance to choose your enemy.
And after that, mere moments
to reflect -— o shit, I think I might
have loved you. I think we could have
had good conversation. But too late, too late.
Hannah Craig lives in Pittsburgh, PA. Her work has recently appeared in 32Poems, Cranky, and Smartish Pace.