The Story of a Bee


This might be about a bee.

After all, it was a bee that found its way to the blacktop beneath my feet, within feet of my lens, with feet of its own achingly marching across the black rock sea. Its crisp wings humming, without lift. How my lens allowed me to see the yellow hairs upon its back. Soft to the touch? I wonder. I didn’t dare. The horrific eyes would be too terrifying to look upon if they were to human scale. Articulated legs. Not only the tiger has fearful symmetry.


How vast the world, the length of my foot, my car, my driveway, the nearest pollen sources half a world away across searing asphalt, over the stone wall, as unreachable as a sea shore, a lost palace of Incan kings, the craters of an outer moon. The broken joint, the exhausted memory, spinning round without compass marks.


He is not going gently into that night. Good a respite from the now. The leathered skin, the downy hair on the unshaven chin, the terrifyingly vacant eyes. Small, withered limbs adrift in white hospital linens.

A rallying cry to struggle, to move in some direction, across the rocky way. To gain lift, to hover if only for a moment longer to see the loved and lovely of a life long lived.

Stumbling at green meadows beneath his feet. Falling. Falling. Struggling for energy to scale insurmountable cliffs. Picking up the debris of years past. A missed flight, a lost ticket, a remembered smile from a honey-smelling girl in a gauzy gown. Faces of generations, crowded into the dim-lit space, between the sheltered light beams and the stagnant air.

There is no sting left in his words, except the sting of the approaching final breath. The grandfather’s boy, the boy’s grandfather, and the bee: fragile and confused and weak of limb, struggling to make sense of his surroundings. I could not help him be. I turn off my camera eye and walk away.

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