In the Tall Grass; My House, Your House; Facts about Honey
By: Jessica Dionne
In the Tall Grass
I have hidden your keys in the pocket
of my green dress and so you follow
me in. The car is pulled off the dusty road
just enough, I pull the blades back like one draws
the heavy drapes. You step where I have stepped,
our shoeprints making maps of tiny
worlds wet in the earth, and so we are
gods inducing destruction on the whim of a walk
through a field. We keep going, away
from the road, away from returning phone-calls
and keeping up appearances—
not needing them anyway, as we are golden
in the tall grass, never aging.
When it begins to drizzle you grin
at me through rain-gaps, through the blades
that shield your face as we stay dry,
covered by such arching fronds.
At night, we sway, dance in the strands
until we fall to the ground like seeds.
We pull up the dirt like sheets and sleep.
My House, Your House
Once there was a body and it was a great,
good body—full of breath and bite,
chestnut acres of skin wrapped ‘round
thick violin string ligaments, thrumming.
But the day came and that body died
11:01 AM on a Tuesday.
First the eyes clouded like a mystic’s
crystal—and what could they see?
Next came the build-up of bloat and the body marbled
that choice slab of granite, the expensive kind.
Then the lungs, which had only ever smoked
fifteen cigarettes crumpled like discarded brown bags
that used to hold your average groceries—produce, eggs.
The tongue—etched in taste memories:
a cube of sugar, clavicle, yesterday’s rice
shriveled like a dried peony pressed between pages
Then the chestnut skin turned leather,
the body’s last autumn
where it fell to the earth, turned,
and the black beetles moved in.
Facts about Honey
My sister once told me that bees have a waggle dance,
the figure eight points the way to fields, yielding nectar.
She said this over grilled cheese, and Maury, but all I could
think about was the time at the campground, barefoot
& sunburnt, when a bee found its way to my shoulder, kissed
I can’t recall what all she told me
about tasting nectar with legs,
or the life of the queen,
but I’m thinking now of honeycombs
multiplying and how bees represent fertility—
Goddess Vishnu—blue bee on a lotus flower.
I’m thinking of the times right after sex
I laid with my legs above my head
of how I made sure to orgasm to make it count
of when I tallied the days I was most lush
of how I wished to be pollinated
of when I thought to coat my womb in royal jelly
of how I was busy
of when I became worker drone I became the queen
of how I cast the others out of the hive
of when I survived the winter but was all alone
of how I mourned something that wasn’t mine
of when I fed on larva until I died.
Jessica Dionne is an MFA candidate at NC State and she received her MA in Literature from UNCC. Her work has appeared in Rust + Moth, Banshee (IE), Mascara Literary Review (AU), and JMWW. She received a writing residency from the Weymouth Center of the Arts and Humanities and she is a 2019 Best of The Net nominee