He should’ve died between once and upon, body whittled to aluminum shell, wings too slow for air. Only females have stingers, he’d read in science class, yet he struggled to squeeze into jeans, anomalous venom leaving a trail. When he grew old enough to breathe nectar, the stinger began to curve, pricking him numb until the day when he floated next to the queen, guzzled too much as if to mock his own creator. Mother merely shook her head while she pondered laying eggs in his body, salvaging the sagging flesh for a new generation’s cocoon. Yet somehow, with only half his wings intact, he rediscovered motion, fled, colored his skin like a rainbow to embrace light. He learned to sip slowly as the migraine of buzz turned melodic, a chorus of notes picked clean.
About the author:
Daniel M. Shapiro is a special education teacher who lives in Pittsburgh. His new book of poems, How the Potato Was Invented, is available from sunnyoutside press.