In the yard, the wind hasn’t yet begun its nervous rearrangements
like a hand in a pocket jingling loose change; everything’s still
bound to the earth by its own thoughts. This season has returned
too many times to be an accident, always in the usual bright vest.
Jigging the front path again and again is the same robin,
coming close enough for me to see the song twitching up
the dense scales of his throat. He’s been insisting that
we’ll have a gorgeous clutch the color of pallid veins,
that I’ll doze on a throne of halved headlines and butcher
string. I tell him hush. That the neighbors are already talking.
There, the deliberate shadow of a large bee being cast
and recast in the shallows of morning light, and the movement
alone is enough to make me leave the porch’s shade and follow
it out and up into an implacable brightness, seize it
and feel its terrible answer pierce the inside of my mouth.
Nicky Beer is the author of The Diminishing House (Carnegie Mellon, 2010) and The Octopus Game (Carnegie Mellon, 2015). She has won a literature fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, a scholarship from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and a “Discovery”/The Nation award. She teaches at the University of Colorado Denver, where she co-edits Copper Nickel. She is married to the poet Brian Barker. (updated 9/2015)