Flies being fewer than they were,

I string my orb, sequined with rain,

in the blue sage beside a hive,

where I may well be stung to death

when I dart in to bind and drink,

unless my iridescent fangs

sink in more quickly than the sting.


But it’s a fearful thing to spin

or weave with my yellow-striped legs,

to build the orb with my third claw;

fearful to learn to sign a name

upon each evening’s masterpiece

in runes only the bee can read,

and she, only too late. Is it

my secret name? is it the bee’s?


You, who are stumbling, blundering

toward flickering gossamer,

the inward spiral of my web,

you poisoner of native flies,

you have no longer any need

to introduce yourself, to speak

your name where I can hear,

no need to open up your mouth

and let me count your mandibles,

for me to write your name in silk:

this is the day when you will read

your name, where it is already

inscribed upon the silk, a sign.