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When All the Lights Go Out


by Arturo Ruiz


Bees are literally worrying themselves to death.
New York Magazine, June 17, 2015

I don't want grave measures to explore.
Or wild bees to overhear again upsetting rumors about their queen.
The bees, they're dying in mass numbers,
they listen as we debate the fate of our apples and our beans.
Firelight and each night swarms make their way to the beach, again,
without hope or a picture of the future.

Beads of rain strike like anxiety, quickly.
Oh, the bees go colorless and fall from the sky. I know what it's like
to feign belief in my own evolution. As a child,
my grandmother had dreams for me. Son, you'll be a farmer, you'll see.
But for me, the future was a door cut in the night sky—
                                                           nothing on the other side.

Look, see, how the bees enter from the door in the east, like Kamikaze,
buzz over the empty field toward the flames on the beach.
Oh, the gritty spice of smoke riding on the breeze—
I can almost hear the sounds of kids laughing over driftwood crackling.
Why did no one tell them history is taking place?
Why did no one tell them we will all have to pay for it?
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