THE BEEKEEPER’S SABBATICAL

Put a teaspoon
of fall wildflower honey
into your morning coffee.
The same jar you bought

while at the farmers’ market together
earlier in the season.
Lick the propolis off the back
of the spoon

while looking around
your now
fertile apartment.
Brought back to life

by the ghosts in the walls.
At least you can say
you are no longer alone,
unlike the mornings

you woke up next
to him in bed.
Burn your toast in protest,
rub olive oil,

garlic,
heirloom tomato
into your palms.
You have problems now

you never thought
you’d have,
like too few evenings
alone,

and an overabundance
of feelings.
So many,
that you lay in bed

just after waking
and worry that
your feelings
might take up the space

where the jars
in the pantry go,
or where you keep
the bowls.

You weep at the sight
of well-made cabinetry.
What a blessing you have known
to have been broke open,

raspberry jam that hits the ground.
Scoop up the preserves
with your bare hands.
Suck your fingers clean,

until your face is dripping
plum.
You are a mad-woman now,
no longer do you need

to cut your meat politely.
Scream the names
of the spices in the cupboard.
There is no one else home

to tell you
to keep down
your voice.
When the thought

of smoked paprika,
Vietnamese cinnamon,
or his hands
peeling for you

a grapefruit
are enough to make
your throat unravel,
you have wildflower honey

for where it hurts,
a bathtub perfectly
in your kitchen,
and cucumber for

your eyes,
the skin no longer
delicate,
tired from looking

over his shoulder,
pick out the teabags
from your old cups,
place them under your lashes,

dip your fingers
in your wounds,
clean your cuts
with limoncello,

you are bleeding,
drunk,
and free.