Erin Emily Ann Vance

when you were laid off from the honey farm
because the wine wasn't selling, I wondered
if you should have told the queens before you
left, because they should prepare themselves
for the rough hands of other keepers, they

need time to forget your smoky eyes and the
way you thanked them for their honey. when
you came home smelling like honey and mud
for the last time I wondered if you were a
different person than you had been before
the bees I wondered if I was a different person
than I had been before the bees I wondered
how much of us had become honey and wine.
when you kissed me with the thickness of
unpasteurized honey and the ache of unfiltered
mead I knew that the bees had followed you
home that each august would bring swarms
and that every time a wasp entered our home
we would somehow expel it and continue to
create our own shelter and food and love

Erin Emily Ann Vance’s work is forthcoming in Coffin Bell Journal, Augur, Post Ghost Press, and Bad Nudes. She is a contributing reader and writer for Awkward Mermaid Literary Magazine. A 2017 recipient of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Young Artist Prize and a 2018 Finalist for the Alberta Magazine Awards in Fiction, she will complete her MA in Creative Writing in August 2018 and an MA in Folklore in 2020. Erin's debut novel, Advice for Amateur Beekeepers and Taxidermists will be published by Stonehouse Publishing in 2019.

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