portion of the artwork for Timothy Schirmer's poetry

Spiral Nosedive
Timothy Schirmer

Do you remember that day in the park
when a bee stung me on my neck? None
of our mutual friends knew what action
to take, if any, but you wasted little time
crossing the distance between us and
pinching the stinger out of my soft skin.
I couldn’t remember your name. A swirl
of my blood and bee venom was glowing
at the tip of your finger and you sucked it
off without a care, and my soul, like a car
rounding a curve and crashing into a tree,
announced itself inside my body.

I was the lucky one, you said, because the
stray honeybee—that had perceived me
as a threat to its hive—would die shortly.
A honeybee, you explained, doesn’t know
that he will die when he stings, nor does
he not know. Knowing is unnecessary.
When I didn’t respond, you simply stood,
scratching the toe of your boot into the
dusty grass, your beautiful dark curls shot
through with sunlight. Right then I was
remembering that several of our friends
had warned me of you. I was palming my
hot neck and picturing the bee in its spiral
nosedive. I had this feeling that love is
expensive, not just for people, but for all
living creatures. Oh, but dammit, there
I was, a woman, a body, and a soul.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 44 | Fall 2014