I told my grandfather I wanted to be a beekeeper.
can you teach me.
he said only if you like humming.
he had a third of his ear removed.
when it was time for reconstruction surgery I suggested he get his ears done
like a Volcan.
he didn't.
he hasn't been able to hear whispers since he moved to that
rodeo dust and beer can sparklers town that's very name fits into
the legato of a southern drawl.
I imagine he hears humming in the space where he once heard children's voices.

my grandmother says bees are feminists.
her bones hum a country western radio station, that's the truth, her doctor let her listen.
Our bodies are antennae, they're how we feel.
when we dance it's just communication.
we all want to connect flowers with each other.
my grandfather has knuckles like gnarled tree knots.
he used to wash condoms between use, dusting them with talcum powder
and rolling them back up.
he performs illegal marriages for men who have gotten stuck in other men's hearts.
he is immune to bee poison.
when I was eight he dressed me in a bee suit and taught me how to write sleep in smoke signals.
I think the people who are most afraid of bees are the ones who have not been stung.
I have been stung six times.
I am not immune to bee poison.
my grandparents sleep in separate beds,
my grandfather hooked up to a machine that conducts his breathing
into railroad tracks without the earthquake of trains.
Speaking of earthquakes, I learned yesterday that the moon has moonquakes the same way
the earth has earthquakes, this has led me to conclude
that there is no such thing as stillness.
the bees are disappearing, that's the truth.
no one knows why.

the mayan calendar has us scheduled for extinction.
the mayans are relearning how to write in their own language.
there is little difference between pictures and letters.
all children learn how to draw, but some of their artwork we call words.

my grandmother does not like country western music,
only music that has lost its ability to speak, or never learned to speak in the first place.
she does not like the sounds her bones emit.
our heads and our soles are at opposite ends of our bodies.
we conduct electricity and country western radio stations.
my grandmother says bees are feminists and my grandfather says they are disappearing.
No one knows why.
If we use scientific instruments to listen to the universe it sounds like static.
the bees are disappearing.
No one knows why.
I told my grandfather I wanted to be a beekeeper.
my grandfather told me we don't keep bees, but we keep humming.


A/N: For my grandfather. I wrote this a year ago and shared it with a room full of people but forgot to share it with an internet full of people.