Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

The Bee of Was

Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

The Bee of Was

Article excerpt

The angel in the wheel and the forest in the man

and the old in the cold, cold bottomless Real

turn the world we don't understand and turn

dirt to roses and the tiny hands of the dead

grip the levers and the handles of the machine

that lifts the lifted moon from the wide blue sea

that says "Enough, enough, it's never enough,"

this chuff-chuff of want being is the gerund of,

and if you have the money you can go to the fair

and if you love a man, or if you love a woman,

or sing the name of my Aunt Rachel's husband

you can see the dazzling lights of the city of Jack

from the billboards and parlors and Christmas lights

to the smokestacks smoking and the Ferris wheel

rolling toward the bay and the pleasure boats of Be

you are the captain of, and see say sailors pointing

at the moon and we go where we want to-wild

little bee of the common and the grave, the common

grave where some still lie terrified and alive who,

while the backhoe moves and the wives of killers

cry in rooms, begin to move a little, long dead now

to dying and the keyhole light of another day, saying

"I remember breath and the one word breathing said

was yes," and I remember when love was a dress blue

and breasts and I remembered you a long time after

you took yourself away and left and I remember

my mother's hair and my sister's hair and the nonsense

of the spoon and the loneliness of the happiness of

the long and the cold and the wheel and the song

here in the forests of the deep of the afternoon. …

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