Three Poems
Suzanne Rindell

Killer Bees

Yet another idea of the self:

         a multitude of fragments

                    temporarily moving as one,

         each dissent a quick death,

                    bodies expelled from the black cloud

         like the tail of a comet spitting dust.

The idea of desire as a series

         of splinters, love lodged in a chain

                    of fixed images, a stream of faces

         who in turn are each a thorn,

                    a fine filament of toxin under the skin.

The idea that the soul

         is really only a swarm of bees,

                    a murderous hum in the mouth,

         so sweet,

                    dissolving like honey.

One Translation

At dusk, I followed the gulls,
a greedy whirlpool on the horizon,

to the place where they fell
like sodden leaves from the sky.

Before me stood a mountain
greater than any Babel ever dreamed,

hills and valleys piled loosely
in bright plastic shades of violence,

the idea of newness discarded
in shades of bumblebee yellow,

bubble-gum pink, a milk carton
translucent as a blue-grey pearl.

Standing there, I watched
as they began to light the fires,

noting that the reduction of all things
boils down to a matter of heat:

ice to water, sand to glass, flesh
to ash. I stared hard into the blaze,

eyes blistering in the acid air
until they found what they sought:

bits of colored paper, blackening,
shrinking, writhing until they became

characters, curling like leaves, like grass,
like the landscape of sentences.

Skull and Hull

to hold
           (the duty of any receptacle)

with arches soaring in the manner of a nave
           (a shaft of light illuminating skin as dust)

forming the cradle of refuge, promises of the ark
           (feel the floodwaters rising, raging)

bowl of bone, a porous fossil cupped in the hand
           (crumbling graphite of petrified wood)

honeycombed in sockets like a corn husk, half-eaten
           (the perforation of many eyes, looking)

pock-marked gunmetal, bow of a navy vessel
           (design of defense, constellation of fear)

or, weary fray of the fisherman’s net, frazzled with friction
           (lattice of veins and neurons, tightly woven)

glaze of tar in the manner of a sheath
           (boundary of that which is contained)

buoyancy achieved in the shape of an inverted bell
           (sound waves drawing inward to the center)

the movement of desire as a single unit
           (skull and hull)

survey of the empty cargo bay, wide as a mouth yawning
           (cavity as a preservation of space)

the panorama of echoing absence, a placeholder
           (the implicit promise of transference, of delivery)

revealing the ribs as a cage, the heart as a bird
           (freedom is the imagination selecting its form)

repletion, like always, is in (and of) the conceived.