reflects less than one percent of the sunlight falling on it
When the flare reaches the surface of this desert and falls
as a radioactive pollen across the sand, the bees come curious.
They take the granules one by one to the hive, the sky
they are building underground,
oooooo and soon they vibrate, dream together; for the first time
they realize they are thinking together. A violet disease,
they press up against the ground—like a fever about to burst
a mind open, a gem heated to shatter—
oooooo and then shatter to make a new spring, where the sky
blooms from dirt, where you wake one day, many years after
the end of your life, and find yourself: an alien thought walking
in this garden, your bare feet pressing each flower dark.
Sara Eliza Johnson is the author of Bone Map (Milkweed 2014), winner of the 2013 National Poetry Series. She is the recipient of grants and fellowships from the NEA, the Rona Jaffe Foundation, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Recent work appears in Salt Hill, North Dakota Quarterly, Gulf Coast, and on Poets.org.