Molly Sutton Kiefer
In beekeeping suits, we're astronauts,
our hooded view gazing
across the Texas moonscape, the hum
of the hive, wax candles and honeycomb
in a glass jar. My boots gray in the dust
and I am grateful for iced tea,
lemonade, cubes of ice. This is solitary field work,
and at dusk, the hives still, fireflies
quiet in the twilight air. I thought
I liked midnight best, but now,
the purpling ridge of horizon, and my heart,
stilling in a sweaty ribcage, may eclipse.
I left Minnesota with frost
covering the ground, and the frenzy of my husband
working later every night, and me, in the dull
kitchen light, pasta long gelled in the pot.
I wonder what changed
between us, but after our return
from his homeland, we drifted
instead of warmed. I have allowed
the drifting to turn into the sting
of harsh words, subtle suspicions, the creep
along floorboards in the honeycombed hallways.
This sweet Texas air will tell me,
oil fields and cow pasture,
what in my future will bud.
I could stay here, decide
for myself, not return, change
before he changes first.
I could keep bees, sell papaya and
avocado from the bed of a pickup truck,
make love to migrant workers,
tumble out of sleep before the sun,
my skin growing darker until I become
another person entirely.