Crisp apple skin warmed by the sun,
with a cool inner bite, dribble down my chin.
A cordial invitation to elder
bees seeking one last summer hurrah.
I cannot promise a home
to withstand the winter.
Me, myself, and I have not made plans
as far as next Tuesday.
Besides. Bees are gracious
enough to refrain from asking.
Instead, sand in their hourglasses tinkle
crusting over another layer of glass
on my soul, the chandelier of their
masquerade, for even in play, bees still work.
Crafting honey sculptures and winding garlands
delicate enough to grace a woodland sprite,
we have an unspoken agreement to disregard
wilted trees that at night have begun to gossip,
betraying the secret city humming in my lungs
with curled orange shavings to be chilled for cocktail hour.
The second-summer hive becomes still
upon the sunrise. Fighting off sleepy citrus hangovers,
they gather their taffeta dresses
and Italian leather shoes, casting off my chest cavity
dripping with honey filigree and residual gold dust,
fleeing the encroaching bear claws of fall, back in
time to an eternal embrace of amber summer.