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Statuary

Written by: Nick Flynn | Biography
 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 
 the body, 

 which will very soon poison 

their dwelling. If it be impossible 

 for them to expel or dismember it, 
they will proceed methodically 

 & hermetically 

 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 
empties. 

 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, 
 a mouse, 
 driven in by winter & lack. 

 Its pawing woke us. We stung it 

 dead. 

 Even before it died it reeked - worse 
the moment it ceased 
 twitching. 

 Now everyday 
 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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