A bee in the honey

You are the radiance I saw 
In the gangling height of poplars
Leaves bird-white and poised
Swaying with a skeleton laugh

The ghosts of Mao’s sparrows
Told me to flee south
Through the ordered pathways
Of a cultivated land
The harsh geometry 
Of blunt roads bleeding into dirt
A hollow fist of silos
Travelling with the bare-faced negligence
Of wanton hope

They once baptised me in a tub
As if a bucket were a river
A river an eye opening
To a heightened realm, where
The bemused damp strands
Of thinned hair  
Against my scalp
A mocking kind of laurel
As bright in the moment
As any glow a Byzantine would wear
Side pierced through with arrows
Heart splayed in cupped hands
Proffered like a bird
Or Sunday afternoon baklava
Embryonic, drowned in honey
The bee almost perfectly preserved
With that furied, alien look
Grown monstrous, under the glass bell
The thick slow taste
Of songbirds
In the golden day
Disproving Ferlinghetti’s theorem
We disappear like metaphors