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  • Writer's pictureLammergeier Staff

Two Poems | BEE LB

we know what lives here

After Traci Brimhall

if our future is the candle, the shadow it casts

is everything that comes after.

everything after is inevitably all

that came before. time a flat circle, we already know.

a fire lit in the shelter of a cave; we have only

to step outside in order to see the fear we’re hiding from.

i’ll admit, i hide mostly from myself

the horrors my mind offers up given enough time alone.

and what do you do if not leave me holding the candle?

wax melting against my fingers as our future burns smaller.

i don’t have to hide the hiss heat brings, no one’s here

to hear it. the steady drip of warm wax from my fingers to the floor

the only way i know to count time passing. if i hear

the walls whispering it’s only because i’m closed in,

trapped by my own desire for shelter. the only ghosts here are the ones

i’ve made myself; an empty bottle, soiled mattress, a bent gold ring.

in my aloneness, i falter— reach for a past i’ve since let go of.

comfort myself with the reality of an end, inevitable.

you ask what there is to be afraid of, and i

remind you of my body in the snow.

we have only to make it through the night,

so i close my eyes to the fact of your absence

haunt myself with the presence of your ghost;

your skin blue-ish, even in the golden light. i fix your

tie, swipe your lip, lift your hair from your face. my hands sink

into you, through you; we pretend not to notice.

memory tests it’s lock, and i let you ruin your own haunting

whisper to me a promise we both know is false.

i’ll get to work on your eulogy if you’ll let me lay you down

in a casket, remind you my fear of fire.

i know it doesn’t burn you the same; your skin roughened

by what we won’t say. in a familiar bout of destruction

i snuff the candle between two fingers, let heat sear flesh

in a promise unbroken, let the damage our future’s done

rest heavy in my hands. we’re the only ones here now.

you can tell me what you want.

there's nothing sexy about wanting to die

After Ally Ang

But I want to anyway.

My #3 bestie once told me

I’d leave behind a beautiful corpse

and I blushed.

I don’t want to be that person

but I am. I’d pick out the prettiest pink rope

but all the shipping prices went up

and where do you find pink rope irl???

Nowhere, that’s where.

Back to the drawing board.

Who cares about being sexy anyway?

(Me! I do! I do!)

I once said I’m like Jessica Rabbit

if she were a they that came in pink.

I’m not really bad, I’m just drawn that way.

I guess I draw myself though, so I can’t really say that.

I write all my worst lines

make all my own mistakes.

Where’s my funny little himbo husband

who may or may not also be a rabbit?

Well? I’m waiting!

I don’t want marriage, I just want a ring

and a house I don’t have to pay for.

Forget the paperwork, just let me scrub your floor clean.

I mean, not you (whoever you are)

but the you I never talk to.

The you I call h*m and b*y and [name

redacted] bc shameful secrets turn me on.

My little b*y t*y, but h*’s not so little.

I don’t really do that anymore

I mean with the asterisks and everything

but I’m not sure when I stopped

picked at infatuation until it bled a little love.

Oh, I’m making myself dizzy with all this chatter.

Can’t we just sit still a while?

How’d we even get here?

We were talking about wanting to die,

weren’t we? It’s good to get off that topic

when we can, though. Sometimes you need

a big break, deep breath, just to live life a little.

I don’t always mind my little life.

Like when I finish the can of pringles

and get to lick my fingers clean of salt.

That’s not so bad.

Or when I step away from the microwave

but remember to race back

right before it dings

bc nobody wants to hear that.

That’s pretty good actually!

Makes me feel light

on my feet.

Little bit of luck, like

the first time I played cribbage I killed it

even though I still count with my fingers.

Five of hearts in the middle and no joke,

I had a jack and three tens.

Who else can say that??

It’s true my brother tried to kill himself the next day,

but he lived,

so that can’t be the worst luck.

Can it?

I don’t think so

I don’t know

who’s to say?

Anyway, I got him into a hospital

and when he got out I taught him

how to use psychologytoday’s therapist finder

and I bought him a bonsai

for his birthday but a month early

because sometimes I think it would be so easy to die

but then I think about my plants dying without me

and feel guilty.

I mean I don’t want him to feel guilty

but I want him to live.

My feelings about suicide are so complicated

and this isn’t really the poem for that

but none of this is sexy anyway.

Remember when I was dizzy

and fun?

Oh, to skip back five minutes.

When I was little I thought double dutch could turn back time.

Not sure why, I just did.

I was terrible at jumping rope.

My rhythm has always failed me.

Sometimes I dance alone in my room

in front of my mirror

but I keep my eyes closed.

Try to find the music in my body

let the rhythm find me

let my hips sway

let my body move along.

But I can’t feel a thing

BEE LB is an array of letters, bound to impulse; a writer creating delicate connections. they have called any number of places home; currently, a single yellow wall in Michigan. they have been published in Revolute Lit, After the Pause, and Roanoke Review, among others. they are the 2022 winner of FOLIO’s Editor’s Prize for Poetry as well as the Bea Gonzalez Prize for Poetry. they are a poetry reader for Capsule Stories. their portfolio can be found at

Instagram: @twinbrights



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