a poem in collage
"Overturned Truck Spills Millions of Bees on the Highway"
—TIME Magazine headline on hives bound for a farm in Washington state
They were brought in by truck
To taste the salt air. Witless
Sommeliers, gunned by instinct, sip
By stricken sip, they were bombed
Up the West coast. Ocean,
Your riven call
To ride? A cult-like moan:
Settle utopia, known
For garage bands: so
I don’t like the sound, but I love the air
Crying in from the window.
Once, in sleep, your ear was a sunken bowl,
Filled with stones I’d never see.
Every breath: not a drum--but silent;
A solo of small instruments.
When littleness matters, each
Sting makes some cracked,
This morning, a cardinal
—his dark eyes matched by his harlequin mask--
Dropped like a beaked
Anvil, at my feet.
And those bees, benighted
As overturned bags,
In the street. Their crawl:
A glass face, beaten
To a savage whole. Then pricked,
Like a fissured pane, still shut. Last night:
Your absence on the water was a swept, black wing. Then
I was a bird, wanted
Away, and pecking out.
SUSAN COMNINOS is a freelance journalist whose poetry has appeared in Harvard Review Online, The Malahat Review, Hobart Online, Subtropics, TriQuarterly, Quarterly West, The Cortland Review, and Nashville Review, among others.
DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH