• Rabbit

untitled

i hear a story about you. it is not You, but it is a literary device that could have been you.

you find a beehive. you know who it belongs to, but you do not care. you know that you are hungry and in want of something sweet, and you care about this a great deal. you take the honey. you leave. the beekeeper comes later and knows you only by your absence, conspicuous hole in the comb, evidence of hunger where there had been none before. further down the road, you meet a strange man and you give him the honey. he is hungry, and you do not intend for him to know deprivation. you give him the honey, and there is a friend beside you where none had been before.

i hear that this story has happened many times. i hear that this story has happened many ways.

you find a beehive. you do not know it belongs to anyone. you eat a palmful of honeycomb on the spot, and when the beekeeper comes she has you dead to rights. ‘i am sorry,’ you say, 'i was hungry. i did not know the hive was yours.' the beekeeper does not care for your hunger. she does not care for your ignorance. she cares for her honeycomb, and its absence. she brings the wrath of the queen to bear against you, and you flee the swarm, honey still warm on your lips and hands.

you find a beehive. you take the honey. you are hungry, and you are determined not to know deprivation. you eat all you have, satisfied and sugar-tongued. when you meet the man on the road, you have nothing for him but sweet words. this is enough. there is a friend beside you.

when the beekeeper comes, she has you dead to rights. she brings the wrath of the queen to bear against you, and you fall dead under the weight of the many myriad stings she commands.

you find a beehive. you know who it belongs to, and you know that you are hungry. the hunger wins out, and when the beekeeper comes, she sees you lifting the first precious bite of comb from the hive to your lips, red-gold honey spilling out into your right hand. 'i am sorry,’ you say, holding fast to your prize, 'i was hungry, and i could not bear to wait.' the beekeeper says, 'what is honey for, if not eating?' she gives the honeycomb to you freely.

when you meet the man on the road, you have nothing for him but sweet words. it is almost enough. he is hungry. the hunger wins out. you part ways, and he regrets endlessly.

when the beekeeper comes, she has you dead to rights. she raises a hand to bring the swarm, and you fall to your knees, pleading for mercy. 'please,’ you say. your words are honey sweet, and she sends you away, whole and alive. she says that you are unwelcome, and you are never to return.

you swear to stay away. the hunger makes a liar out of you. you will always return to the beehive. it is in your nature to be hungry. it is in your nature to want honey. if you did not find the beehive, if you did not take the honey, if the hunger did not win out, by what changeable part of the story could you presume to know yourself?

'i am sorry,’ you say, 'i was hungry. i did not know the hive was yours.' the beekeeper tries to bring the wrath of the queen to bear against you, and you disappear like smoke.

you find a beehive. there is a strange man with his hand already in the comb. 'forgive me,’ he says, 'i am hungry, and i did not know the hive was yours.' 'it isn’t mine,’ you say, 'but i am hungry too.' there is a friend beside you.

the beekeeper sees the red honey in your right hand. 'forgive me,’ you say, and she does not. 'take this,’ you say, and hand over a brace of red jewels set into a gilded honeycomb. it is precious. it is a gift for a queen. she takes her prize, and tells you that you are welcome to return. 'i will not forget what you have given me,’ she says. it is a threat as much as a promise. you have given her a queen’s gift. you have given her evidence of hunger where none had been before.

you find a beehive. 'please,’ you say to the beekeeper, 'i am hungry.' the beekeeper looks to you. she gives you honeycomb, and you are welcome to return.

you find a beehive. 'please,’ you say to the beekeeper, 'i am hungry.' the beekeeper looks to her honeycomb. she sees no evidence of hunger. the beekeeper gives you nothing.

you find a beehive.



 

Author: Rabbit


I'm Rabbit, a queer androgyne born and raised in Southern Appalachia, now far travelled. I've been a Lokean for ten years and I am a godspouse-to-be. Mainly free verse, a little prose. Other devotionals and odds and ends can be found on my tumblr.




 


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