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—Cailey Tin


When footsteps pounce / from the bee-buzzing yard / to the front door, I don’t recognize the pair

of feet, & the only name / I give him—zipping, zipping, over my head—is Neigh / my next-door

neighbor / whom I never see unless he marches in / on afternoons where I am preached at / to be

kind &plant flowers / for him. / He has a double chin & looks / like this: golden horns sprouting,

honey-coated & climbing, climbing / each ladder of elongated spine / breath sweetened after I

left him / some nectar; he sucked it, slurped, & left / specks of skin on the floor. He can’t pick up

/ sound & he doesn’t say / anything when he stings me, but I know / all too well the vacancy / in

his mouth / is a loose tooth, & the gap between me & the ceiling in 2018 / versus 2023 is a rope /

of its own. / When any number accelerates, I am chided / by Neigh & told to keep going /

because when one tooth falls out, there is no stopping / its neighbors. Bloated / gum’s only way

is up, up, & the margins / of my leg’s bone marrow is too swollen around / the sting area to have

enough / space for needle-like pieces to be arranged / like honeycomb. / I know now that there is

no halting; only reaching & reaching. / I’m not going to lie when I looked down / & saw him

accompanied by an angry swarm / of bees–buzzing, buzzing / waiting          to          sting.


CAILEY TIN hails from the Philippines, writing or editing for magazines including the Incandescent Review, Trailblazer Review, Paper Crane, and Incognito Press. Her poetry and other shenanigans are published or forthcoming in Eunoia Review, Raven Review, Fairfield Scribes, Ice Lolly, and elsewhere. When not writing, she is either engrossed in global history, playing the piano, or daydreaming.

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