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2 Poems

B.A. Van Sise

To Go

A magnet in the gift shop

says that sex is like pizza,

so I guess my favorite kind

of pizza is the one I just ate.

On the plate, something

simple: margherita,

named for the queen

who never cared for Naples,

or perhaps for the oxeye

daisies of the same name

that grow all over, one

of which is behind your ear.

I fear it’s the only simple

thing on the table; our

silence tastes of cinders,

our eyes say this

cannot be. So just you,

and me, and then a

lightning bug lands on

your plate. And so goes

our hundredth first date:

just me, and a meal, and

you, and the other firefly

glowing in broad daylight.

The Eusocial Wasp of Queens

lands on the arm of Robin, who

loves them and keeps little

pictures of them on the wall

at the preschool where she works.

Her new friend, a yellowjacket, flits up,

then back again, and up, and then

onto the cup Robin’s got in her

hand, where she licks a drop of

coffee and decides Starbucks

isn’t for her. Or anyone. She

zips up her arm and stings,

hard, into her meat, before retreating

to the trees. The next day, in

class, Robin warns the children

to be wary of bees.

B.A. Van Sise is an author and photographic artist focused on the intersection between language and the visual image. He is the author of three monographs, including the upcoming On the National Language: The Poetry of America's Endangered Tongues. He is a New York State Council on the Arts Fellow, a finalist for the Rattle Poetry Prize, a two-time PX3 award-winner, winner of the Lascaux Prize for Nonfiction and an Anthem Award for Diversity and Inclusion, and an IPPY gold medalist for poetry.

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