Guided by Voices

Voicemail says I have one new message.
My arms rash out in gooseflesh while it plays
because the voice belongs to someone
who is lying in a casket. And I am a bee now
whom this voice beyond the grave
clings to like pollen.

I firewall the image of Ouija boards,
crystal balls, otherworldly voices
whispering through the crackle of white-noise
on AM radios. Instead, I see morning glories
on vines twisted in a flower bed;

how trumpet-shaped blooms become the
bee-version of the phonograph—
where “messages from beyond”
are channeled from the Other Side to
preoccupied bees
who hum to themselves
as they browse these flowers.

Why else would a bee crawl
headfirst into flowers,
but to cling to some ghostly,
long-distant buzz of those with
the secrets to the hive?
How else would bees today know
to breed flora for endless generations,
if not for the clingy,
bright yellow voice of pollen?

about the author
T. J. McGuire lives in Dayton, Ohio, with his wife and his two daughters. Multiple works of his can be found in issues of Flights and Mock Turtle Zine.