The Breath of Gods

“The bee is sacred because it touches
all three worlds,” she said, as she lit
another candle in its brightly colored glass.
“A nest in the underground, harvesting the flowers
of the earth, and wings to touch the sky—
they are messengers who can travel
to all the spirits.” She smiled,
closing her eyes and breathing deep.
“Do you smell it? Beeswax is the scent
of the breath of the gods.” The light flashed
like tiny wings of flame in the glass.
“If you breath it in, they say, you can
sometimes hear their words.” I breathed.
I listened. I heard our breathing and the hiss
of the hungry flame, like the distant hum
of a bee at its duties. The scent of beeswax
coated my breathing, tasting of honey
and sex and mysteries. Then a whisper
too low to understand, but I felt joy
welling up inside me as if
I had heard something wonderful, more
beautiful than all the poetry in the world.

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