Illustration: busy bee working late in the hive office

The Hive

I fear the honeycomb.
Irrationality has gifted me the phobia
of things with little holes in them,
all the delicate papery kingdoms of wasps and bees
those that buzz and construct rooms with spite and spit.
I try to see—not the holes—but the rings around them,
hexagons instead of absence,
what is there instead of what is gaping, not.

They tell us that if the bees go, we go,
our entire ecosystem balanced upon
the stripes on their backs, veins in their wings,
fuzz on their tiny knees.

So when I recoil from the comb, translucently dripping,
am I cringing from the holes in the structure, or
the way all of our everything is trapped in
those minuscule spaces?

Kelsey Hontz is an Arizona-based writer with a passion for the circus and aerial arts. “The Hive” is her attempt to work through one of her deep-seated phobias, trypophobia, or fear of closely-clustered, naturally formed holes, like beehives and wasps’ nests. She was inspired by the theme of RINGS to try to see a beehive with a new perspective. Kelsey’s work can also be found in Indie Blu(e)’s anthology SMITTEN: This is What Love Looks Like, Duck Lake Books, and Harpur Palate.

Honeycomb illustration by C.B. Auder.

NEXT – Golden Hour

PREVIOUS – Midwinter

RETURN to Issue Three