Ode to the Backyard Bumblebee

Karla Cordero | Poetry

the bumblebee parades among the snap pea blossoms
like a penny-sized bear with wings,

mining for riches every flower head offers.
flowers whose nectar becomes a sacrifice without warning.

my niece & i watch with obsession, crisscrossed
on the brick patio—the floor which bakes our brown legs

like sweet potatoes in summer. i see the bee’s hind legs
jeweled in pollen. these thick insect thighs

strutting a heavy wealth. & i think about thighs inside a boutique
in front of the mirror. the mirror like god judging

your sin. your sinful fondness for pan dulce,
homemade pancakes, peppermints in the mason jar

at the doctor’s office. so you become a mathematician
measuring thigh gap or lack of or think of ways to subtract

to equal the perfect fit into calvin klein shorts. or the time
a man named your bones: baby making hips. thighs made

for a crawling light, a choice you choose not to let flicker.
light that could carve earlobes, kneecaps—a tongue that could

rename your body mother because of motherhood. & perhaps
i savor the bee’s bliss to love my own gift. flesh thick

in muscle that makes my lap a shelter for when my niece tears up
after the bumblebee pricks the sweet soft of her hands.