The Bees

Victoria Chang

The Bees—268 million years old from the Philippines, passed away on April 26, 2217 in Nome, Alaska. The detaching icebergs crushed the bees who used to fly over conference rooms. Once I nearly died in a small plane with a CEO, CFO, and COO during their IPO. On the ground, the CEO glared at me, as if I had caused the storm. As if the yellow lights had come from my mind. As if the buzzing had come from my shaking. As if the lightning were a box I had tripped over. Maybe he was right. Maybe I had become estranged from a part of myself that wanted to stay alive. That wanted them to remain alive. In the same way I had become estranged from my mother forever, but not her death.

Victoria Chang is the author of a nonfiction book, Dear Memory: Letters on Writing, Silence, and Grief, and several books of poetry, including The Trees Witness Everything and Obit. She lives in Los Angeles and is the program chair of Antioch’s low-residency MFA program.
Originally published:
April 1, 2020


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