by Christine Byrne

Beekeep: unbekept – We were married in our twenties – Nobodies – I outlined myself – In the palm of your good hand – My marked stigmata – Like another room for waiting – For the simplicity – However unordinary – To keeping bees – To what’s conceivable –


Cain came to me in winter’s bare shoulders in the ravaged apartment –


What do you want me to say – I’d become a hearbroke – Still teething – Out New England – Sitting in the rushing vicinity – Of airport strangers – I want to remember – You new, holding grief and the – Umbrella for me – So obvious in my dress I’d felt – Like rain incarnate distance centered – In the heard of this new stranger – Retired Gravedigger – Talking you over with friends – Amy walked me through – How to touch you properly – That’s how young I was – In innocent whispers sitting on our hands in the dark – Drinking gin out of plastic bottles – Sunburnt and reeling on the games of new affection –


Making medicine of midwestern men –


Then naked in your basement’s – Constant flooding – The hive frame you were building – Tremored and wandering – Cain – Sterile & feral & – Perilous I – Adore you I adored you – Washing cups with the doors locked in the nighttime – We had no money – In that useless city – I couldn’t parallel park and you’d – Never seen an ocean – On boat docks I showed you the proper way to clean fish – Fed your one-eyed-cat calloused in our – Winter shamble – You were still a farmer – Trying to grow something – In me –


Your familiarity is warped like outgrown clothing –


I won’t remember what it was like to be twenty-four – Not really not really – Cain I – Can’t get the smell of rain – Out of you, mis – Carrying on about – This apartment, the ants, the – Liquid bates traps, scared the baby – Would find them – Hardboiled, Weeping – In The honey aisle – Couldn’t keep him couldn’t keep It Existing in the middle of me


We did not make it through this.


And if I reduce you – Down to gesture:  You still make me feel barefoot in a summer driveway –


Moving carefully because of your – Carpenter father, because your brother – Died when you were seventeen – Because all the bones in your right hand – Were crushed in an accident once – So you move – Like resin, hardening –


We were married & unmarried in an instant

Christine Byrne is a writer and artist from New England. She is currently an MFA candidate at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her most recent poetry appears or is forthcoming in Driftwood PressThin AirLammergeier, and others.