The uterus is just for babies but you can keep anything in a cellar—wine, potatoes, a girl.
In her time they revered Bees as the Miracle Cure for a cursed planet, antidote to rough skin, chronic allergies, stale toast. Books were mostly titled Bees This or Bees That. Bees swarmed through the text of the NYT, the drone of TED talks. Frightened householders wooed Bees, built them backyard harems. "Après Bees, le déluge." Oh, but she did not love Bees. She felt no desire for honey. Their so-called gifts were not given willingly. Otherwise, why the space suit, the gloves, the veil?
When We Lived in Pompeii
The dog or me, I said. You choose. He didn’t lust for Exemius (credit where credit is due) and so it was me who sourced his smile, fluffed his moods, ruffled his damask coverlet. But the banished pup was always underfoot, that mosaic of glass tiles evoking his active spine, the leash that restrained him from true desires.
- "Bee" © blathlean; Creative Commons license.
Autumn Stephens is the author of the Wild Women series of women's history and humor, editor of two anthologies of personal essays, and former co-editor of the East Bay Monthly. She has written for the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and numerous other publications.
She conducts expressive writing workshops for cancer patients and survivors in Oakland, California, and teaches private writing classes.