Time to Swarm – Katherine D. Perry

This house hums like a hive,
its rooms incubate larvae; buzzing and building persists.
I cannot see the promised pink dolphin, omen of rebirth, anywhere,

and all I want is to get out of here, go to New York,
to give my homemade masks to the faces
of unhoused people, my pasta to their pots,

to prepare the children for what is no longer a drill.
If we can return to the hive, it will be silent soon
instead of the voices on television that blame

this pandemic on our sins or on our gluttony:
the sides lining up to shoot at each other:
it’s easier to explode than to work together.

The audacious hammer of pride
grips us, and queens just keep making eggs
and putting them into little cells.

I can almost smell the periwinkle pinwheels
when I take off to find some new drink.
My smooth skin feels like furry carpet,

but I fly through the wilderness looking
for a new fruit tree, for a bottle of Clorox, for salvation.
The azaleas sing “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”
and I see gold glowing with kintsugi,
so I return to our little hexagons,

to dance for others
to show them the next pathway
to unearth nectar.

Katherine D. Perry is a Professor of English at Perimeter College of Georgia State University where she teaches writing and American Literature. Her first book of poetry, Long Alabama Summer, was released in December of 2017 from Finishing Line Press and draws heavily on her childhood experiences on the Alabama Gulf Coast. Her poems have been published in journals such as Writers Resist, The Dead Mule of Southern Literature, Poetry Quarterly, Southern Women’s Review, Bloodroot, Borderlands, Women’s Studies, RiverSedge, Rio Grande Review, and 13th Moon. She is also a co-founder of the Georgia State University Prison Education Project, which brings college courses to incarcerated students in Georgia prisons. She lives in Decatur, Georgia with her spouse and two children and identifies as a Southern writer, even when that label is complicated. Her website is www.katherinedperry.com.

Leave a Reply