Statuary - Poem by Nick Flynn
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
which will very soon poison
their dwelling. If it be impossible
for them to expel or dismember it,
they will proceed methodically
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
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,
driven in by winter & lack.
Its pawing woke us. We stung it
Even before it died it reeked - worse
the moment it ceased
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.
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