I fit the walls in place with pliers,
hold them till the glue dries. The saw
hums, dust swarms and beats it wings
around my shoulders.
All this dark summer I placed frame
on frame. From my childhood I remember
nothing. But my sons hang from the metal
bars, unfold their bodies, mise en abyme.
Humidity swells the joints. Don’t tell me
I’ve never built anything. I assembled these
cell walls from spit and pulp, I carried
the daub and wattle hive for months.
The sunflowers bow their heavy heads,
goldfinches shaking the stalks, bright yellow
messengers of sorrow: their small flesh
the smoke of old coal plants.
We wed in a field. Clover and wild carrot,
and the veil obscuring my view. For a moment
I was both queen and keeper, until the hum
began — warning song, epithalamium.
Thich Nhat Hanh says do not ask,
Cloud, when were you born?
Deep hive body, brood chamber:
inside each box, another box.
I stretch the wire across the wood;
pull it taut to my thumb’s callus.
In the yard, the morning glory clings to the trellis,
its blue stars squinting.