The Honey of Trapped Bees
(Self-Portrait at 15)
Mostly it’s about the bones—ribcage, clavicle, the small knobs on the outside of my knees, a red thrift store pinafore I wear as a tunic, ribbons tied tight at two rungs of bare spine. Mostly, it is tied up tight—my frizzy hair in a bandana, knot of hunger beneath thin layer of skin I pinch and measure, counting its depth. And it is all about what counts—inches and calories; the men, back seats and borrowed beds, and how much more of me they want than I ever want of myself.
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“The Honey of Trapped Bees” was originally published in Pauletta’s book of poems, Coal Town Photograph.
Pauletta Hansel’s eighth poetry collection is Friend, epistolary poems written in the early days of the pandemic; her writing has been featured in Oxford American, Rattle, Appalachian Journal, Still: The Journal and One (Jacar Press), among others. Pauletta was Cincinnati’s first Poet Laureate (2016-2018), and is past managing editor of Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, the journal of the Southern Appalachian Writers Cooperative. https://paulettahansel.wordpress.com/.