What the Bees Know

by Emma Wynn
I think it must be very ordinary – 
how the dawn bees nuzzle
the nectaries of the raspberries,
unrolling their soft beaks
and rooting them wearily
in the work of the day.
Again and again the burrowed sips,
thorax muscles burning
and widening the wings’ arcs,
nectar sacs swollen
with boredom and sugar,
dragging their way home.

And also ordinary, the days
when it’s all sweetness
at the mouths of the flowers
and sweeter still coming home – 
the brush of antennae
curving slightly to cup
another’s scent, mandibles gentle
on the sides of the face,
shudders of offered nectar,
drinking the sweet spit,
trembling mouth to mouth.

What the bees know – 
distilling honey from each other’s
bright, tired mouths
in the ordinary days.

About the author

Emma Wynn (she/they) received her M.T.S. from Harvard Divinity School and teaches Philosophy & Religion and LGBTQ U.S. History. Her poetry has appeared in Sky Island Journal (which nominated her poem for the Pushcart Prize), West Trade Review, peculiar magazine, apricity press, and The Raw Art Review. Her first chapbook, "Help Me to Fall," was a winner of the 2019 Moonstone Arts Center chapbook contest. Most recently, she was a finalist for the Subnivean Magazine 2020 Poetry prize. Find out more at www.emmawynnpoetry.com.

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