Mary Szybist

Self-Portrait with a Bee in my Mouth

I said no—and then it was abuzz inside me,
all wings, restless—

Raw lust for romance

You were undressing, peeling off
the thick socks you'd sweat through.

It wasn't you I'd refused.
You smelled of cut grass, your back ached,
you closed your eyes for a moment

before I kissed you in what I believed was silence.
But the buzz started up, hovered
as I searched out your lips, as I pulled you toward me,
as I succumbed

to the force of your lips . . . .

Though I kissed, of course, you,
not the forceful domination of his lips.

Like a bee in a glass jar, my mind buzzes—
But the bee is in my mouth.

The buzzing, sometimes, is so quiet
I don't know it's there.

I've tried to tempt it out.
Weeding the garden, I nuzzle my cheek
against the thick-veined petals, fragrances
rising like incense.
Only more fly in.

I have only to touch you to be suddenly lifted
into the cradle of your arms, to surrender completely
. . . .

I lose you in the buzzing.

(All wings, restless,
and a kind of anger in it:
an open flower, a prairie rose
a little past bloom and still unattended—)

See how close a body can come to having wings.

They pick and play me, as if I were made for them.

What was I made for, then?

EPR #5:
Script Says Cry

© 2003 Electronic Poetry Review