The Queen of England Gives Birth

by Renee Agatep

to every English person
like a bee
and is that the cost
of gathering nectar from
every poppy and weed?

(And that was what this poem
was meant to be about:
bees and birthing and queens
and ready-made soldiers taking orders
and what good are they? But –
this drunk woman fell into my table

the most carefree woman appeared
on a June wind, weaving across the sidewalk
like a drop of perspiration sliding down my glass
her body pouring and pressing the cutouts
of her spandex bandage dress

her hair looks wet
crisp to the touch
her eyes adrift
the table adjacent is up in arms

doesn’t she notice
her brown areolas exposed?

the tops of her breasts
breathing in the night
air meant for the dried
the covered and collected?

For the hour
she is smoke

she is light
enough to blow down the road
slight as pollen, thin as wine)

This poem was originally published in Issue 136 of Poetry Ireland Review.

Photo by Paulette Wooten on Unsplash


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