By Paulann Petersen Paulann Petersen
Pale gold and crumbling with crust
mottled dark, almost bronze,
pieces of honeycomb lie on a plate.
Flecked with the pale paper
of hive, their hexagonal cells
leak into the deepening pool
of amber. On your lips,
against palate, tooth and tongue,
the viscous sugar squeezes
from its chambers, sears sweetness
into your throat until you chew
pulp and wax from a blue city
of bees. Between your teeth
is the blown flower and the flower's
seed. Passport pages stamped
and turning. Death's officious hum.
Both the candle and its anther
of flame. Your own yellow hunger.
Never say you can't take
this world into your mouth.

Source: Poetry (July 2001).


This poem originally appeared in the July 2001 issue of Poetry magazine

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July 2001
 Paulann  Petersen


Paulann Petersen's collections of poetry include The Wild Awake (2002), Blood-Silk (2004), A Bride of Narrow Escape (2005), Kindle (2008), and The Voluptuary (2010). Her work has appeared widely in journals such as Prairie Schooner, Calyx, Poetry Northwest, and Poetry. A former Wallace Stegner fellow and recipient of two Carolyn Kizer Awards, Petersen has also received the Stewart Holbrook Award for Outstanding Contributions to . . .

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SUBJECT Eating & Drinking, Activities

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