Wardrobe Best Dressed: Leigh Anne Hornfeldt’s “In Its Entire Life a Bee Will Only Make One Teaspoon of Honey”

In Its Entire Life a Bee Will Only Make One Teaspoon of Honey

1500 dead bees in my tea cup.
I consider apology,

not for the death (something they’d do
anyway) but at least a small I’m sorry I don’t stop

the whirlpool in my mug, I don’t replace steam
with your furious to’ing and fro’ing.

I see honey & tea, not resurrection
of pollen & nectar – I’m not good at changing

things. Things are the things they are
and there are not enough words for those things.

Millions of empty cells I don’t know
how to fill. Have you ever seen

a drained honeycomb, anything so sad as that?
At a fair I looked through glass

at a bone-dry apiary. The queen
had a giant white dot on her back, as if fecundity needed a marker.

I wanted to say I’m sorry for this glass, for the drones worrying
your abdomen, antenna, rectum. Your body.

I’m sorry for the rigid necessity of your one life.


“In Its Entire Life a Bee Will Only Make One Teaspoon of Honey” appeared in Leigh Anne Hornfeldt’s chapbook, The Intimacy Archive, available from ELJ Publications.  Purchase your copy today!

Leigh Anne Hornfeldt, a Kentucky native, is the author of East Main Aviary (Flutter Press, 2012) & The Intimacy Archive (ELJ Publications, 2013) and the editor at Two of Cups Press. She is a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, as well as the recipient of a grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women. In 2013 her poem “Laika” placed 2nd in the Argos Prize competition (Dorianne Laux, judge) and in 2012 she received the Kudzu Prize in Poetry. Her work has appeared in journals such as Spry, Lunch Ticket, Foundling Review, and The Journal of Kentucky Studies. 

This week’s Wardrobe Best Dressed was selected by Erin Elizabeth Smith. Smith is the Creative Director at the Sundress Academy for the Arts and the author of two full-length collections, The Fear of Being Found (Three Candles Press, 2008) and The Naming of Strays (Gold Wake Press, 2011). Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Mid-American, 32 Poems, Zone 3, Gargoyle, Tusculum Review, and Crab Orchard Review. She teaches a bit of everything in the English Department at the University of Tennessee and serves as the managing editor of Sundress Publications and Stirring.


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