January Poetry Blitz: Christine Boyka Kluge

Jar of Bees

He stored his anger like a swarm of killer bees in a baby food jar, then hid the jar in the musty dumbwaiter at his core. The passageway under his ribs was dark and drafty, echoing with a warning buzz. Black static surrounded the space once occupied by an incandescent heart. Keeping his secret forced him to press his lips together in a chapped white line. Hives spread over his narrow chest in crimson Braille. Although his fingertips constantly traced the raised words beneath his shirt, he was afraid to decipher their furious message.

When his sister cried, he heard a pulley creak in his brain. He imagined frayed rope hoisting his jar up from a cellar kitchen, to be offered above like an exotic hors d’oeuvre, a quivering jar of gold caviar, both irresistible and fatal. They would unscrew the little blue dented lid, and…

He jumped up and down in front of the bathroom mirror, convinced he could shatter the jar. Squinting into fluorescent light, he searched his throat’s rosy tunnel for bees, expecting them to explode from his innards like topaz shrapnel. None ever appeared; not one bee escaped. He wondered if a boy could be stung to death from the inside.

By Christine Boyka Kluge

(From Stirring the Mirror, Bitter Oleander Press. Christine Boyka Kluge is a blogger.)

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