Nick Flynn

(1960 - / Boston / United States)

Statuary


Bees may be trusted, always,
to discover the best, nay, the only

human, solution. Let me cite

an instance; an event, that,

though occurring in nature, is still
in itself wholly abnormal. I refer

to the manner in which the bees

will dispose of a mouse
or a slug

that may happen to have found its way
into the hive.

The intruder killed,

they have to deal with
the body,

which will very soon poison

their dwelling. If it be impossible

for them to expel or dismember it,
they will proceed methodically

& hermetically

to enclose it in a veritable sepulcher
of propolis & wax,

which will tower fantastically

above the ordinary monuments
of the city.

*

When we die
our bodies powder, our bodies

the vessel & the vessel
empties.

Our dying does not fill
the hive with the stench

of dying. But outside
the world hungers.

A cockroach, stung,
can be dragged back out.

A careless child

forced a snail inside with a stick once.
We waxed over the orifice of its shell

sealing the creature in. And here,

the bottom of the comb,
a mouse,
driven in by winter & lack.

Its pawing woke us. We stung it

dead.

Even before it died it reeked - worse
the moment it ceased
twitching.

Now everyday
we crawl over it
to pass outside,

the wax form of what was

staring out, its airless sleep,

the mouse we built
to warn the rest from us.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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