Sting

Kevin Young

Burying weather—
the stark heat
we sweat in, saying

our good-byes. Flowers
bend in it,
embarrassed

almost—the agony
of growing, the great
effort, trying

not to die—this eulogy
the daisies write
by sunlight, in storm,

in the fall of what
greets us all. Hurt
is not meant

by the blades of summer
the bumblebee somehow
swims around—

then away. For now,
the sting
of being—

tomorrow already
a memory, a bite
bright & burning.

Kevin Young is the author of thirteen books of poetry and prose, the director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and poetry editor of The New Yorker.
Originally published:
January 1, 2020

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