Apini family reunion

Apini family reunion

By Megan Crouse

I pretend to own this house. Basil grows in pots outside. “Just go down the stairs,” she says, a finished mother teaching her child the new jungles in her old house. I go in my bare feet, avoiding a dead bee on the sidewalk, its wire legs an afterthought to its fuzzy, whale-shaped body and its lumping entrails. At a party last week I found a bee in a cup of ice water, floating like a refugee. Pulling my gaze away from the green distance I took the cup, knelt in the grass, and tipped out the bee. A small ice age. The bee was slightly larger than the two ice cubes and moved slowly, like a veteran, from what I imagined must be February water into August grass. My fingers would have only broken its legs and incited its sting. Slowly the bee crawled out of the ice age and into the dry grass, the water beading on its fur. It took glacier steps into the lawn, all eyeless determination. A blade of grass stroked across the bee’s frigid back as its plastic legs plodded.

I pick the basil leaves from the top of their stems, smelling the break. I pull them free of the pot and carry them back up the stairs, once dipping my nose into my palms.

I wonder, if she dies of the cancer inheriting her lungs, will I inhabit this house?

refers from the phrase “their high street house” in Laressa Dickey’s poem 4, from Catalogue of Utilities

  1. Loved this. You took me away! 🙂 Congratulations Megan!

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