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Aimee Nezhukumatathil reads her poem "When I’m Away From You, I Feel Like the Second-Place Winner in a Bee-Wearing Contest".

Brought to you by Complexly, The Poetry Foundation, and poet Paige Lewis. Learn more: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/

Aimee Nezhukumatathil: http://aimeenez.net/
Oceanic: https://www.coppercanyonpress.org/pages/browse/book.asp?bg=%7B03C1DAE7-968B-428B-B772-99B269CFE28B%7D

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My name is Aimee Nezhukumatathil and I'm gonna read a poem called "When I’m Away From You, I Feel Like the Second-Place Winner in a Bee-Wearing Contest".

I chose this poem because I think there's such a special kind of buzz and magic in finding that that magic is still there after 13 years of love.

When I'm Away from You, I Feel like the Second-Place 
Winner in a Bee-Wearing Contest

who practiced all year, only
to lose to a guy whose

every inch was covered
in hum.  And I am in awe

to learn one cheeky bee
clambered into the winner's

sugared ear, another 
slid into his nostril, and still--

he didn't flip.  Just calmly
waited for the bell to ring

a victory.  But even
fifty-seven pounds of bees

can't stop the music I hear
when I return to you, the music

I hear when you walk near me.
Like I'm always carried in enough

good sting and thrum to remember
our life.  I'll always return home

to you--my honeycomb, my sweet--
my one faithful and true buzz