the short version

Initiate

A handful of bees.  Yolk-colored
pollen in your lashes, on the shoulders of
your tie-dye tank top. The sun

a bright mallet, making us blink
and tear.  Hurling oak galls, half-empty
lobes of maggots, at my braids.

Laughter like sudden car brakes,
like your favorite Def Leppard song howling
in reverse. Scraping the band-

aids from your broken toes.
Teaching me to smoke underwater, how
to write the word freakish

with my tongue. Mapping
the bruises along your ribs in the shape
of his palms, your hand over

your giggle-swollen lips: a handful
of bees in his Volvo’s dashboard.

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