The venom, he believed, was good for the heart.Like some strange astronaut crossing the yard,he confessed to the bees: the happiness of hismarriage, enabling his son’s alcoholism, the manhe shot in World War II, the almanac’s weather.
The cause never matters, but the absence does:snaggle-toothed children on post office posters,Bermuda Triangle boats and planes, an aging woman’shope to conceive, whole colonies of bees can vanish.
As a child Everette was taught to sprinklebees with flour and then follow the ghost trailto the hive. Now would the path stop mid-field?
It wasn’t exactly his heart, but the anti-arrhythmia drugsthat drowned the hive of his lungs. Two years after,I open the last jar of honey my grandfather put up.A sweetness that aches astounds me. Papery bits of combstick to my teeth like what I still can’t speak of. [End Page 56]
Rachel Morgan is the Assistant Poetry Editor for the North American Review and teaches creative writing at the University of Northern Iowa. She co-edited Fire Under the Moon: An Anthology of Contemporary Slovene Poetry (Black Dirt Press). Recently her work appears or is forthcoming in Fence, Denver Quarterly, Barely South, Volt, Hunger Mountain, South85, and DIAGRAM.