The possibility to be stung
the possibility stings
it lands upon the wrist, the calf, the knee
don’t twitch, don’t breath, see look:
It toys.  It teases.
It unfolds thoughts,
unbidden blossoms in my mind,
the possibilities of another what-could-be
of what some other bee could do:
                                                          Lancets latch, as I watch on
                                                          fixed fast by youthful change for
                                                          one, and two, then
                                                          jarred by that sharp syrup, sweet
                                                          I’m up; I’m here; another jar!
                                                         A boy was made for this, and more
                                                         alive and well,
                                                         survived and Hell, you should see the other guy.
                                                         But perhaps already I’d begin to swell,
                                                         red and dull and all regret,
                                                         liquid lungs frantic under
This is an adolescent afternoon,
warm and slow in front and back.
The pollinator cares only for his flowers.
Of no more interest than a place
to flit, alight, and pass along,
I sit, am still, and
wait for him to hum about his work.
I sit, but
perverse, the possibility still stings:
relief and ease
and mad, mad hope


EZRA LICHTMAN spent his childhood in Newton, MA, with his three older siblings and two much-older parents. He attended Brown University, where he concentrated in Neuroscience (B.S. '15) and joined the WORD! performance poetry group. After spending a year serving coffee and teaching at an after-school program for 1st-5th graders, he started at the Yale School of Medicine in August 2016.