The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: We Know Each Other By Our Wounds by Jude Marr

This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Kirsten Kowalewski, is from We Know Each Other By Our Wounds by June Marr, released by Animal Heart Press in 2020.

To the Man Who Left a Jar of Bees at the Bookstore

man in a blue coat, not yellow: what compels you
to travel with bees? are these your familiars, jarred
and buzzy, waiting to break loose
and juice you into action? is that why you left them
in the necromancy section?

man in blue, do you believe
bees’ pollen-coated feet can dance a dusty measure
on your sleeve, and weave a constellation?

do you grieve, overcoated man, for bees so easily
forgotten among books? you cared for them
once: you punched holes in the lid of their glass cell—
bringer-of-bees, we have not placed your apiary
in lost-and-found, with umbrellas: your bees, bless
their soft, striped souls, are reading, through
glass, from the Georgics of Virgil: we have shown
them prints by Monet and Van Gogh—

blue man, blues man, come get your bees
before we close: we bought them violets, and now
they are abuzz, getting down in their mason jar
made for honey: we fed them
sugar-water on a spoon, then left them
alone in orchestral scores: they are ready to jam—

bee-man, do you keep bees
for their sweetness? do you believe
they can heal your body
with pain-killing venom? do you want them
to die for you?

Jude Marr (they, them) is a Pushcart-nominated nonbinary poet. Jude’s first full-length collection, We Know Each Other By Our Wounds, came out from Animal Heart Press in 2020. Recent work appears in Leavings, Icefloe Press’s Work and the AnthropoceneBoats Against the Current, and Moria. Jude is currently on the masthead at SWWIM Miami and Poetry is Currency, and works as an editor with freelance clients in both the US and the UK.

Kirsten Kowalewski is the editor for online horror fiction review resource Monster Librarian. She has an MLS and a specialist certificate in school library media from Indiana University, has worked as a children’s librarian and elementary school media specialist, and is a lifelong reader.

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