? SLAB | Sound & Literary Art Book

Issue 8

Poetry

Christin O'Keefe Aptowicz

The Bowery Bees


On the roof of the Bowery Poetry Club
are forty-five thousand bees. Like most
New Yorkers, the bees weren’t born there.
They moved. Location, location, location.
The roof is empty and private and safe.
Like most New Yorkers, the bees have
to work to pay the rent. They make honey,
two kinds: Wild Honey and Orange Blossom.
It’s for sale for $10 on the ground floor.
Like most New Yorkers, they are good
neighbors if you just leave them alone.
But sometimes, shit happens. The bees
have stung Bob, their landlord, the poet
who happens to own the club and its roof.
It didn’t hurt, he says, and isn’t it just like
a poet to see past the pain, all those barbed
stings meant to injury? And instead focus
on the honey, and the hum, and the hives,
those soft living cloud of sound which find
themselves finally at home right on top
of the Bowery Poetry Club.