by Tina Barry

There were trees,

and beneath them

an apiarist's bee box,

ugly in its simplicity,

with slits for windows.

An abandoned,

three-tiered tenement.


I had wondered about bees

in those boxes, their industry

so directed: The queen,

black wings glittering,

adored and loathed.


My eye to a slit:

No bustling inside

No extruded amber

Wings onyx straight jackets

A low hum of displeasure.


I once lived in an apartment

with too many roommates.

One initialed each egg

in its carton.

Another swigged scotch

till she stung.


I think of us now

in that warren of rooms,

our droning lives.

How small we became

to fit there.