"Honey" by Matthew Champagne

I have a beehive as my mind.

Those scuttling bugs become restless,


Breathless, when I feed them smoke

From bellows that are not my lungs.


My eyes, my thoughts

As pumps to funnel thick doubt,


Up past my throat-damper neck,

Past my smoke-chamber nose where bee wings,


Multitudinous, legion, crackle and singe me.

They will not flee when the smoke comes.


I am asked if honey is worth the sting

And I respond with a

“Hallelujah! Yes, it is!”

When the fever gets my blood.

And God has a spoon

That can hold oceans.


But that is only sometimes.

Other times, my throat is raw and black,


I do not lick soot from the hearth

And say it is sweet, nor do I


Blow on crawling embers

If my breath will not start a fire


When I feel the buzzing,

But instead I grab


The coals

And hold them to my brow as they hiss


Like bees, bees, bees

And I am the queen.