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Sara Eliza Johnson reads her poem, "Beekeeping".

Sara Eliza Johnson:

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My name is Sara Eliza Johnson and I'm going to read my poem "Bee Keeping" from my book Bone Map.

This poem came about from an obsession with bees that I developed in my MFA years when I was living in a kind of converted garage, um, and there was a hole in the garage and all of these bees built in my hive in my garage and so I had bees in my house all the time. So I started to try to figure out exactly what made bees stick and yeah.

Beekeeping. It begins on the brightest afternoon, my body held in a corona I can taste the sugar and the heat of. At the edge of the valley wild hyacinths, violet ones, scythe through the shadows, through my eye.

When I reach the hive the bees cluster on my veil like molecules magnified, a code to the core of things. When I lift a comb one bee stings my wrist, then another, the venom a note, a pulse of light that rises into a song: a tower of spikes or a swaying stalk of purpling blossoms. This must be what love is: a pain so radiant it cuts through all others.