Poems

Alyssa Perry: Work

Work

drones are dead by win-
ter. workers
never
drones are dead ,+finish.
drones are dead ,+start
at larva,
nursed for

a week on jelly,
pollen, honey—
then sealed
drones are dead ,+to
drones are dead ,+sleep.
when she
wakes—a bee—

she must demolish
the wax
door or
drones are dead ,+who
drones are dead ,+else
will. they
all do; then

groom legs and rise to
raise pupae.
milk throbs
drones are dead ,+‘cross
drones are dead ,+eyes,
then sweats
to succor

a queen. next, hanging,
she makes house,
then cleans.
drones are dead ,+spick &
drones are dead ,+span’s
the span,
so’s fanning,

slipping pollens in
slim panniers,
nectar
drones are dead ,+distilled.
drones are dead ,+the
flowers.
the flowers.

the flower’s firm threads.
embalming;
killing
drones are dead ,+what’s
drones are dead ,+killing.
and if
a queen goes

missing or one wants
one might learn
to lay
drones are dead ,+drone
drones are dead ,+sons
who will
take no share

in the labor whether
effort is
waste or

drones are dead ,+is
effort
of laying waste.

Alyssa Perry lives in Iowa City, where she works as a teacher, actor, proofreader, and editorial assistant with Rescue Press. She holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her recent work appears in jubilatWest Branch Wired, and LVNG.

Photo by Emma Frances Logan on Unsplash