The Honey Bear

Billie Holiday was on the radio
I was standing in the kitchen
smoking my cigarette of this
pack I plan to finish tonight
last night of smoking youth.
I made a cup of this funny
kind of tea I’ve had hanging
around. A little too sweet
an odd mix. My only impulse
was to make it sweeter.
Ivy Anderson was singing
pretty late tonight
in my very bright kitchen.
I’m standing by the tub
feeling a little older
nearly thirty in my very
bright kitchen tonight.
I’m not a bad looking woman
I suppose     O it’s very quiet
in my kitchen tonight        I’m squeezing
this plastic honey bear      a noodle
of honey dripping into the odd sweet
tea. It’s pretty late
Honey bear’s cover was loose
and somehow honey      dripping down
the bear’s face   catching
in the crevices beneath
the bear’s eyes    O very sad and sweet
I’m standing in my kitchen     O honey
I’m staring at the honey bear’s face.

Eileen Myles, “The Honey Bear” from Maxfield Parrish: Early & New Poems. Copyright © 1995 by Eileen Myles. Reprinted by permission of Eileen Myles.
Source: Maxfield Parrish: Early & New Poems (Black Sparrow Press, 1995)
More Poems by Eileen Myles