A Story about the Bees

after Robert Hass


I still have the bees
she gave me.
I keep them on the sill
above the sink,

stare at them while
I soap dishes—frail
husks dumped in a heap.
If I cracked the window,

wind would scatter
their dead. I’d sweep them
with a broom and pile
them back in their place.

I keep quiet
when friends visit
my cabin; my chest cavity
full as the blue bowl of bees.

I skimmed off the roses
that first morning,
they weren’t meant
for me; a trick for the eye.

Every story is a story
about the body.

The pines outside
rocked and swayed
when I brought
the bees inside,

their bodies
radiant beneath
the red petals,
twin upon

twin, sharp
translucent wings.




Derek JG Williams puts words into rows both long and short. He’s a 2016 Blacksmith House Emerging Writer. His poems are published or forthcoming in PleiadesBest New PoetsVinylForklift OhioSalamanderPrairie Schooner, and New Ohio Review, among others. This fall Derek will begin his PhD in English, Creative Writing at Ohio University. Learn more about him at http://www.derekjgwilliams.com.

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