I Wandered into a Beehive

I Wandered into a Beehive

I wandered into a beehive
in manzanita. Ten-year-old in red
sweater to the neck, like a specific
children’s-book cat on her first
day of school. The stinging mass
attached. Vicious. But, today

I wish I had more scarf to cover
neck and mouth. Stay the breath. Stay
inside keep the air from expulsion. Not
the droning. I would give you more

explanation. See, sometimes you pulse
in and out and I am falling back
in love with myself. It’s not good enough
to excuse the effort expended; especially
when love has built hive mind and a mess
is how our honey fastens. I didn’t think

because I’d heard
even after centuries, in a cask mouldering
in a pyramid, honey will still
flow. Honey, but I know you, can add
the right bugs to make an alcoholic.
Under this thin skin, I’m gutted by bees
flying back through time.

How do I tell you I’m still that stung
child, wandering lost in a puzzle maze of manzanita.