is what she calls her latest installation,
which is mainly bees on leashes
and fading plastic poppies. The best art
is collaboration between people and nature,
she says, like Smithson’s Spiral Jetty
or a tornado doing a tarantella with a barn.
She steals the phony flowers from a cemetery
out by the interstate, leaves pots
of black-eyed Susans beneath the stones.
She says that a stalk of wheat driven
through a fencepost by a twister
tells us all we need to know about God.
She says the membrane is permeable,
but only in one direction.
Every morning she catches bees in the field
of wildflowers behind her house.
Every evening she lets them go.
She weeps when they sting her goodbye.
She says the last song on every record
is a forlorn, fragile buzzing, says
just watching the shopping carts drift
across rain-slick asphalt can make her cry.
She trembles sometimes when a lover
touches her face. As if a rainstorm means
the drought is over, she says, as if touching
makes us any less alone. As if bees
ever did anything but love us.
As if their stings are nearly penance enough.
Brent Terry holds an MFA from Bennington College. He is the author of three collections of poetry and a novel, forthcoming in 2020. Terry lives, runs, and teaches in Willimantic, Connecticut.
Photo by Mostapha Abidour.