Lillian Hochwender
Content Warnings
Body Horror
"In my summer breath..."
Dec 28, 2020 9:51 PM

In my summer breath

I hear the tick-tack

of train tracks and become

acutely aware of

my soft pink lungs

and the thrumming

of hungry young bees

living in my chest.

I feel the orange origami

folds of my paper-thin

eyelids as the nectar sun

holds them softly closed.

But when my skin and bones

turn to stones and soil,

I will feel the small gold bodies

flying from my lips.

They will lust over orchids

and pinks and peonies

that open like fists

releasing birds.

I will be a feast

for the forest bursting

in my limbs and hips

and skull. And the bees

will remain as plants go to seed

and the mountains to trees.

Bugonia (βουγονία): the generating of bees from the putrid carcasses of cattle

Lillian Hochwender is a gender-chaotic poet, artist, and nonfiction writer. They have been previously published by the likes of Firewords Quarterly, Doll Hospital, and The Oxonian Review, and have a forthcoming flash essay in the Keats-Shelley Journal. After completing a degree in literature and literary theory at William Jewell College and the University of Oxford, their health has become a full-time priority. Their interests (creative and academic) include 19th century literature, theatre, and the mythologies surrounding death and embodiment.