Barbara DeCesare


I get the chills and the world
is a whisper.

Under my chin there's a swarm.
I drown
in a gasp.

We're riding high, my beesting and I,
we are filling up with tiny knives.
We know a life
under glass—
eyes that don't work
fists that won't close—
& die together
alone and prone in the field:

Me, a pinprick on this earth
you, my yellow rescue.


Of all my near-death experiences, my favorite is asphyxiation by anaphylactic shock. Not only was it relatively pleasant, but there was justice in a death penalty exacted by a tiny kamikaze hero; an afterthought of nature sent to make the world right.