HOME
SUBMISSION GUIDELINES
STAFF BIOS
BLOG
LINKS
SPRING 2009
POETRY
FICTION
COLUMNS
NON-FICTION
CONTRIBUTORS
EDITORIAL
CONVERSATIONS
ARCHIVES
CONTACT US
Poetry

November 11th

Michael Fisher

And if old churches smell like prayer
fruit ferments in a dumpster a drone bee
finds sanctuary in from November’s fatal frost
he does not understand someone epoxy’d his hive’s hole
worried he lost his way home seeks orders but finds
the sun behind
                        a homeless man
begging but flogged by pennies
whipped by teenagers
longs for uniforms, salutes, the gun
carried for country warm shots
more valuable than brown cents.
                                                He’ll bunk next
to the drone’s armored body
shield it from cold
neither knows the other’s there
the bee buzzing his one-note pledge
to defense and sacrifice
while his peers drown in epoxy 
he settles on the homeless man’s left side
calmed by a warm beat and if he knew words
he’d name it peace.
                        Across the world
a fourteen year old boy discharged from his army
since bees were discovered climbing out his urethra
waking his barracks with morning buzzes
arranging rank seeking queen and hive.
The boy sequestered for three days
misses friends, push-ups, drills.
Half claim God touched his body
others want to dice the miracle
flesh out explanations.
He would be glad to let them
for one more boot to polish.
                                    In the dumpster
the bee realizes truth without order
leads to hardships
but if his means would allow                          
he’d contemplate purpose
consider chaos                                                                      
stop his one buzz
wonder how discolored
boxes share a hue
with spring                                                                  
conceived by an order
dwarfing the hive.
                        But stops
at “hardships” concludes
his hive sworn
to protect is gone.
His loyalties
meaningless.
                        He can not
bring it back
building and rebuilding
were never
his duties.
            He plunges
his back down
surprised by pain
excavated organs tossed
in his last moment.
                        The boy
lies naked
watches another bee crown
its head to consider
if it’s safe to come alive.
To the boy’s dismay
the newborn darts to
the ceiling, buzzing, awaiting
purpose or orders.

***
And I’ve sat here
so long my beatitudes
ascended in vapor
of three dollar coffee,
led me to believe
reading poetry and writing poetry
have made me the only saint
in this idiot plot—outside
a man gesticulates as he is dragged, yelps, “pain”
“pain” tossed like litter.
I could’ve held his hand.         
But like the man whom grips about the market
is indifferent to the woman berating the kid
pouring her coffee, we’ve stored our Christs in coffers
blocked our exits, hardened ourselves
blinded and wasted

RETURN TO POETRY INDEX >