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Bernard Henrie

Filling In The Blank Spaces Of Ardor

The weather drops off on the Chesapeake
and shallow gray waves fall on gray waves
outside the window of our clapboard
where I live with you my water fowl,
my love shy husband sullen and colorless
two steps from the end of the continent.

The low, flat curves of the dredge hills
and sober, noisy roll of the bay,
the folded ankle socks on fishmongers,
my bra straps lowered for my husband
whose eyes roll beyond my shoulders
to the wet plants and pots stuck outside.

I burn a Marlboro in my fingers;
my husband opens a paint tin,
wets the blue brush, drips a green
across spaces of sea blank ardor.
I throw away relics of a life
that no longer exists.

[...] Read more

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A Personal Account Of Bees

Scholarly bees who attend college and graduate with high marks
go to dewy clover fields wet enough to prevent a scalded mouth,
dull bees are sent to Cleveland, to my house, and others nearby
where the gardens are limp green, plants like washed dollar bills
passed from hand to hand by men who work on production lines.

The local bees carouse, turnout pockets to purchase a good time,
sprawl, their legs open like girls taking sun the first day of summer.
I never see them eat from their tiny black lunch boxes, they hum
like choir boys, overshoot runways that are like ours, but round.
The bees are colorblind, deaf and they do not like blue Windex.

Arriving home exhausted they play card games before quarreling
or canning honey preserves, later they slip down striped underpants
and rest placing bald heads, shiny as the day they were born,
on paws tangled with paws of brothers who do not seem to mind,
they sleep no longer than it takes for a rain dropp to fall from heaven.

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