Junkyard honeybees build
          a hive inside any refuse
          they’re given—given
          the queen is within: heart
          of a tire or headlight, gutted
          car door or gun rack, waxed
          slats of last year’s grill.
          Once hollowed, maybe bodies
          ask to be filled. Little scoops,
          the surgeon told me—to remove
          calcified nodes like melon.
          Afterward, a slight reaction
          waking from anesthesia:
          hives, I heard. Then a nurse
          with a needle: little sting
          so through sedation I felt
          nests lining the rotten rind
          of my honeycomb throat,
          imagined the glittering
          of a thousand wings laced
          into a choker fit for royalty.
          How they swarmed me—
          gown-draped, still painted
          with iodine, I was wheeled away
          a makeshift queen, dreaming
          of gold-ringed bodies. Experts—
          how gracefully we made
          a home from what remained.
ROCHELLE HURT is the author of The Rusted City, a novel in poems published by White Pine Press (2014). Her work has been included in Best New Poets 2013, Crab Orchard Review, Hunger Mountain, Mid-American Review, The Southeast Review, Kenyon Review Online, and elsewhere.