When the bees came to find me with news of God.

In my dream I am covered in bees.

They fly in through a window cracked open to a garden that looks familiar, reminds me of the one that I loved to be in many homes ago, a space where I still felt rooted. Long before I was pulled from the earth.

My instinct is to shut this small space, this opening to the outside that leaves me vulnerable, but for the cool breeze loving my face, I don’t.

I stand very still. Letting it all happen to me.

What will happen, I think, what will happen if I stand here and let things be.

There are so many bees. They don’t stop coming.

I should be afraid.

I am not.

Instead, I choose to be a quiet witness.

I choose rebellion.

Somewhere deep inside my body—viscerally, something old rears up, this ancient wisdom that I remember from another life, from before I was given a God and all that they say he is.

He is not.

Instead, He is everything that they do not want me to know; She is fire, water, the seed they tried to kill, the life I want to hold.

I have almost forgotten, almost do not recognise this language, this home inside all of the women that I have been, all of the women that I know. Memory thins, but it holds.

If you call for it, speak to it with your own voice, it will show itself to you. I know.

They keep flying in. I am not the hive, nor the flower. Still, they come to find me.

I know that I am safe.

There is no fear.

I can see myself from above, even though I am standing next to myself. It is a curiously beautiful experience. I am, and I am not.

There is the paper-thin skin below my right eye. Here, the curve of my lip with its hunger, this deep famine. When last has softness brushed over each small hair? Memory thins, but it holds. I call for it every night. Diaphanous, it holds.

There are many delicate things that are stronger than laws, and hate, and control.

When I look down, the bees are crawling all over the wild country of my breasts, my arms, my face. There is so much beauty here on me, inside of me. I cannot breathe for all this wonder.

Why have I not seen this before? Why did they have to come and find me in my sleep, unawake, where all the lies that I have believed could not find me, for one unguarded moment. A crack in the wall where the light can crawl in, covered in pollen.

This is what this is, I think.

They have come to give me a message, words for a wintering woman standing on a threshold.

Something new is coming, is already there just waiting to live.

Words are stuck to their wings, words from deep inside the folds of the earth, the flare of the night-sky holding all of her secrets close to her chest.

Words wrapped in a womb. Words that do not taste like the ones of holy men.

They taste like the moon. Like everything that once was, the hip, the belly, the softly curved strength that was crushed.

When I wake, I search for signs that sound like the song of a bee.

I am not left disappointed. It is everywhere.

I think of the way that the feminine holds a hive together. How she is the rock, the anchor, the home.

…the threat, depending on how strong you are.

I am filled with something that I have hungered for, that I couldn’t name. Something that was served to me with shame. Things that had to be kept hidden.

But hidden things are costly. They never stop taking.

No more of this.

Courage is slowly spilling from my cells.

I should be afraid.

I am not.

Instead, I choose to be a quiet witness.

I shape myself into quiet rebellion.

What will happen if I stand here and let myself be.

Memory thins, but it holds.

It holds.

— When the bees came to find me with news of God.

© Liezel Graham 2021.

Image by Moritz Kindler, on Unsplash.

#poetry

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