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
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