Brianna Noll


The split hive buzzes
on its own, the bees long dead.
       Colony collapse.
It’s the echo of the swarm,
a lingering song, the honeycombs
a lattice of nerves,
If you touch it, it will flinch.
It’s an oscillating force,
an electrical force, a force
       of life.
The hivematter is organic—
       It’s more than wind.
We learned to hum so
our lips buzz, tickle

                  and numb.
Honey coating the tongue.
The tongue warmed
       with light.
Otherwise, the sound is hollow.
We learned to match frequency,
create waves,
                  not breath.
Press your finger into
the beeswax
and speak.
      Feel it vibrate
like the skin of your throat.

Brianna Noll is a PhD candidate in the Program for Writers at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her poetry has appeared, or is forthcoming, in CutBank, Salamander, The Pinch, Redivider, Silk Road, and elsewhere.