WHY DO BEES HAVE STRIPES?
[question asked by Jim Hayes]
How they come out in orange afterglow past dawn,
mapping the world for forests of new growth:
blanket flowers like roulette wheels;
black-eyed Susans perfumed exhibitionists,
exposing their sex; lilies; cosmos; daisies.
How they hide to rest when twilight hums.
The encyclopedia swears
they wear their yellow as a shade of danger,
evolution’s biohazard sign, &
black to mark the other boldest
while they hunt, their barely-legs bearing up balls of pollen
like suns dragged into place by the feet of broken gods.
I prefer art never to be so rational,
as if instead the swarm mind delights
in painting warriors for war
or sending off acolytes decked in holy vestments,
to preach of a kingdom beyond the next garden
where light shines & bees go to die & be reborn.
Ace Boggess is the author of two books of poetry: The Prisoners (Brick Road Poetry Press, 2014) and The Beautiful Girl Whose Wish Was Not Fulfilled (Highwire Press, 2003). He is an ex-con, ex-husband, ex-reporter, and completely exhausted by all the things he isn't anymore. His writing has appeared in Harvard Review, Mid-American Review, Atlanta Review, RATTLE, River Styx, Southern Humanities Review and many other journals. He currently resides in Charleston, West Virginia.