I was in love with a yellow jacket
that polluted my garden.
I was in love with the rush
of seeing you, armed with stingers,
swarming me.
I was hot in the face with hives
matching the pink petals
that stem from your thoughtfulness.
Greener than the prickly envy upon which I lay.

Whisper your wise ways as an uneducated worker bee.
My breaths hurt because I’m allergic.
Making your tongue only meaningful in my imagination.
Your confessions drip like liquid honey on stale bread.
Pollination won’t pay bills.
Your stingers in my swollen skin
buzz redder than the wounds’ bleeding.
You were honey combing through
my hair then your stripes stripped my pride.

Hang over my head as I’m under the sheets
eyelids open on a bugged ceiling that won’t tell what
your bumbling meant.
Your antennae probe at my skin, then at my thoughts,
chasing me when I smell sweetest.
Our nature loving is intoxicated with illusions.
My wings are too weak to fly away from you.
My cinnamon honey is too rich to tell you the amazing
things that I wish to do.

I was in love with fluttering from
a kiss that would never happen.
Instead taillights shrivel
growing dimmer in the narrow distance.

about the author
Maya Smith-Custer loves to travel and has lived in Dayton all of her life. She is a high school junior and varsity athlete year-round. She writes short stories, flash fiction, and poetry, and performs spoken word. She studies creative writing at Stivers School for the Arts.