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Suddenly, Bees


Bees have been appearing in places strange
for bees to be. Yesterday I saw a shadow moving
across our cotton curtains and parted them to see
a swarm swarming one of the columnar evergreens
the family who used to live in this house, cleaved
now into apartments, must have planted for privacy.
And just today, coming down Montgomery
from North Beach, swerving a little on the sidewalk
because I was reading THE DARKENING TRAPEZE,
the posthumously published poems of Larry Levis,
I looked up from my book to look at what
everyone was looking at, another swarm, this time
in downtown San Francisco, like a funnel cloud
that doesn’t believe in itself enough to become
a tornado, agitated in the heightened light
of early evening in late March. Lyft and Uber
drivers stopped at lights, business bros on their phones
talking closings and mergers, a man in rags screaming,
security guards standing outside the Wells Fargo,
everyone stopped what they were doing to watch
these bees, which seemed to have less to do
with earth than with light, as if
the sun was their hive,
their honey safe, far
from where we are.
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