Sting

Kevin Young

 
 
 

Burying weather—
       the stark heat
we sweat in, saying

our good-byes. Flowers
       bend in it,
embarrassed

almost—the agony
       of growing, the great
effort, trying

not to die—this eulogy
       the daisies write
by sunlight, in storm,

in the fall of what
       greets us all. Hurt
is not meant

by the blades of summer
       the bumblebee somehow
swims around—

then away. For now,
       the sting
of being—

tomorrow already
       a memory, a bite
bright & burning.


Kevin Young, author of thirteen books of poetry and prose, is director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and poetry editor of The New Yorker.