pages Stung

by Becca Justice

Published in Issue No. 185 ~ October, 2012

Photo by Dave Barger

My Psamathe was born like a Venus, a Venus in a garlic clove. I never saw her grow up. She had been stomping grapes and I watched her force sticky feet into her sister’s beaded sandals. She has a webbed toe like a ginger root and it is one of the things that meant most to me. This was twenty-five years ago. She sampled my honey and then I sampled hers. I told the story many times; Dmitri always snorted into his raki. It is not for me to explain how a person turns into an object, a thing; it happens. When I think of her as she was on that day, and had been for some time, she is a telephone pole gored into the earth. I don’t remember how it started but the air tasted like filed fingernails when she said: When you make love to me I close my eyes and think of bunions, of cataracts, of the dry skin under my breasts. Turning my back on her, I walk to the apiary with a head full of whirring rage and stinging eyes. I don’t put on the protective veil and gloves. I walk straight into the bees and they embrace me with such verve that I am taken out of my body. I keep walking out into the afternoon sun. I have found it is best to not wear shoes in the sand. I have found sunburn. I have found that the hammock is the seat of the gods. I have found out how to sway in the stretchy womb. I have found that if you don’t like pina colada then there is nothing for you here.