Sarah Crossland • The Tin Man Full of Bees

The spell erupts in wings—
        glass-backed, a crownish
    vellum, veins that tickle
as they climb their way.

        They charge, these chevrons,
    motor-fuzzed, from the heart—
or the chasm where the heart
        would be if I were made
    of meat instead of metal.

I once loved a forest girl
        who kissed me with a twister
    in her lips, and god
it felt like this. Counter-
        clockwise, the opposite
    of time. I am a hive:

slip-stitch hornets, bumbles, sweats
        and queens. Their stripes
    the color of a morning
fruit that sings as its citrus
        bites. Gnaws and strikes,

out my pipe. Once again—
        by the witch’s wish—
    in the hum I come alive.

Sarah Crossland has received the 2012 Boston Review Poetry Prize and a 2013 AWP Intro Journals Award. In her spare time, she volunteers at Oakhill Correctional Institute and plays the harp.