Hive by Christina Stoddard

I have that dream again where the Elders
            stand mute in their suits and ties.
                        They circle around

and place their hands on my head. They push me
            into the earth, into the slatted box
                        that is waiting. A secret box

filled with bees. Now a host, I gag
            on buzz and clack. The box bobs up
                        in the waters of a baptismal font

mounted on the backs of twelve oxen. The bees
            have sealed us inside with wax.
                        I try to ask for some music

at the end of the world, but my mouth
            fills with swarm. Then I hear
                        the Elders singing

“Know This, That Every Soul
            is Free,” while I am stung
                        the purple of reverent hearts.

Christina Stoddard’s poems have appeared in various journals including DIAGRAM, Spoon River Poetry Review, and Slipstream. Originally from Washington State, Christina currently lives in Nashville, TN where she is the Managing Editor of a scholarly journal in economics. She is also a Contributing Editor at Cave Wall.