“...even when it is forever expunged from the present, when, henceforth, it is alien to all the promises of the future, even when we no longer have a garret, when the attic room is lost and gone, there remains the fact that we once loved a garret, once lived in an attic.”
                                                 —Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space

house left to bees for five years

they comb the attic weigh space
with their sticky work

such precise carpentry between the rafters
oneiric geometry
whole home hums at night old wiring and fluttering life

an incubation you can feel in the walls
life collecting above
a white noise

a stasis

and their reciprocity— one comb on a window the full pane of it
just beneath the opening of their labyrinth

inside the house
we watch the queen
the total recall of drones

a map of the outside world its creases giving way

no one sees the swarm
as we weigh options
the absence does not lighten— the ceiling sags as if
they held the sky at bay


the part removed
barely weighs
by the time you come to nothing more
than slight, dry fruit
a raisin the weight
of your heart
which far exceeds
the feather
and they will not
let you take it
and so to the jaws,
a few hundred million years of evolution,
you go, the sliding doors part and you
so Moses
stumble back
into the inversion
again and breathe
deep, baby
rattles so hard
you can feel it
in your future
a space removed
like hollow organ
pipes or empty
storage locker
crocodile tears

Copyright © 2019, Otis Nebula Press. All rights reserved.

Christine Newkirk

Michael McLane is an editor with Sugar House Review and saltfront. He is the author of the chapbook Travel Elements and his work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous journals, including Dark Mountain, Colorado Review, Laurel Review, High Country News, Western Humanities Review, and Denver Quarterly. While he is from Salt Lake City, he recently moved to Wellington, New Zealand to begin a PhD program at Victoria University.