Renee is a poet and an active art-scene collaborator/performer in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Visit her site.
© 2009 Renee Alberts
Our yard this morning is full of wings
that close and spread to map
their lungs’ pulse
as they drink,
veiny stained glass, red
as a hand held up
to the sun.
tomatoes go to vine.
Cabbage whites suck nectar
from their blossoms—lotuses
adrift on the chaos of
morning glory vines spiraling
The cat stalks a monarch
feeding on zinnia.
She folds its wings
between her paws; this
is how we pray here, love—
My mother’s arachnophobia releases me.
Now an eight-legged star
hangs from dragline anchored
to corners of my living room window;
I leave the light on at night as bait.
Bumblebee tangles with net, veined
wings mounted on steel thread.
All its weight and force thrashes against
the glue of trap. Quick work of sharp legs
wraps shroud cocoon body bag;
her body pulses as she feeds
honey breastmilk blood.
I don’t throw the switch
or draw the shade.
I used to sneer as
my first lover
each mosquito leg
then dropped the rest
into the web.
My Ex-Father Eats a Live Honeybee
A tiny spark has singed a single hair on your arm.
—Schmidt Sting Pain Index
We used to run so fast downhill
we knew how satellites thrill
When we stomped bees in clover
we learned a stylus’s hot pierce,
her body’s last shudder.
But when you stood in front of the sun
like a blackspot and dropped a live bee
on your tongue, could you taste nectar
smeared on her needle feet?
Did your glacial teeth
crunch her downy abdomen?
Is it true her wax paper wings tickled your throat?
and she tasted like smoked honey?
All work is property of Renee Alberts.
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