The Bee-Bearded Man's Only Son
Jim ZolaThis is the day the bee-bearded man's only son is to wed
a girl from a town that knows nothing of bees.
The son himself feels no affection towards the bees,
but out of a sense of decency and heritage
has taken his father's trick one step further,
wearing a suit of bees and a tophat that sets the wedding crowd
to murmur. One fat aunt from Paducah faints,
and the men who know her gather round and bicker
about what should be done, until the question becomes moot
as she opens her eyes and mouths the word "yellow."
The only clothing he wears not made of bees
are his Italian leather shoes because he's afraid
of what he might step on. The day is hot
and locusts hanging in trees make it difficult to hear
what the preacher is saying, something about hard work,
love and honey. No one listens. They are looking
at the bee suit, the way it moves constantly,
yet stays whole. The bride thinks about the coming night,
perfume between the breasts. She wonders if bees
get tangled in his hair. The son counts the moments
until he can shed his winged tuxedo. The bees
think nothing, drone, worker, all dying for the hive.
The father sips whiskey through a straw and considers
his toast -- drinks held high to the first sting.
July 2000, from Gumball
Marilyn InjeyanWhen her mother throws
a metal sugar jar at her dad
leaving a dent in the wall,
the child appears calm.
She has studied Buddha,
Wearing a yellow robe,
Her hair swept up
her brows, wheels on her small
notices her absence.
the screams and silences
November 2000, from MindFire
Jim ZolaA man sits down to a table and explodes.
Bits of him float from the ceiling covering
his family like feathers, spicing their food.
In Haitian there are 27 words
I put sugar in my coffee and wait for my heart
How many times have I attempted to leave?
Three times I think. The rest of the time,
This is no tale familiar. This is not
January 2001, from Melic Roundtable