Working Order

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Filmmaker Gentleman Scholar
Partner Iowa Review

Working Order

I stop midstride and cannot look away
from the ordinary
ticking of the multiverse,
and simple machines that glow suspended
in September’s light. I cannot attend
to my errands, errant, to think
I think of you and think
of you as I watch the sun slip
into something more and lick the horizon’s lip
and bend in close
to burnish a bee going down on a hosta flower. Most
of my memory’s relevant flash cards have fallen to flickers of trivia,
orphaned referents rendered arcana—
swarm cell, propolis, honey stomach, supersedure—
but still I remember
this creature to be innervated and that
in death it can still sting. I forget to what
end its venom lasts.
It and I lost in its act,
small gravity of its attention, patience stirring nectar,
I cannot say it gives the flower pleasure,
but I do believe there are no simple questions, senses, nor
machines. The afternoon’s true task is elsewhere.
Dora Malech


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Poem ©2012 Dora Malech, all rights reserved. Used by permission of the author and publisher The Iowa Review. Film ©2014 Motionpoems, Inc., all rights reserved.