1. I felt an electric shock in my left palm at the base of my thumb.
2. I dropped the phone. There was a yellow jacket underneath, huddled, dying. I had poisoned it. It poisoned me back.
3. If I were (like) my father, or you, would I have died then, in my bed like that, a tiny, dying insect next to me on your pillow, with poison enough?
4. The pain has lessened in the hours since and I imagine the poison’s dispersion, a liquid smoke, a thermocline, a delicate schlerin in my blood.
5. I remember the (piece of a) story I wrote when I thought I was writing with (to) you. I looked for it and found it and censored it:
They lie on the dry peat looking up at a dome of green she used to call the cathedral. Plumes of Ostrich ferns arch in clumps around them. She sees them and traces the arcs of their flights, their density until she sees the hive. And then she feels the sting as her lover lies on her and crushes the bee just enough.
She inhales sharply at the sensation, like a match being extinguished against her skin, or the ember from the end of a cigarette blown off, hitting her in the chest and going out, an exothermic exchange, over in fractions of a second. It didn’t leave its stinger behind, though it stung her twice. She thinks – it didn’t die.
And then she is overtaken by a series of memories – the syncopation of two metalaphones, one male, one female, tuned fractions of wavelengths apart until they ‘hit’ against the eardrums with the same sensuous intensity as lovers.
6. It stung my foot. We were at a lake. Bettina was there, and a friend of hers (male) she found annoying. He wanted her. She didn’t want him. I asked you to pee on my foot. Maybe Mom had told us about that. She always used to gather a handful of dirt, spit on it, then slap it on the sting. I don’t know if it worked, or why it would. Placebo effect if nothing else. You didn’t want to do it though I begged you. You were just a little boy then. I demanded. So you finally gave in and peed on my foot. I mixed sand with it on the sting.