The Nest

wearing a beekeeper’s suit from Chanel
my mother pulled the string that tied me
to my oxygen muzzle until the bees inside
my honeycomb skull slept

when I was born
she wore a crown
and named me Haploid

whippet-thin my matriarch
sustained herself on melba toast
and mind honey

and we all asked God
to save our queen

when I was seventeen
she left me
sedately stripe-less
and choking on my baby wings

LAURA HOFFMAN is a United States Marine Corps Veteran and graduate student attending The University of Tampa's MFA in Creative Writing Program. Hoffman's most recent work is forthcoming or appears in: The Ibis Head Review, Chaleur Magazine, Left Hooks, and Flypaper Magazine. Hoffman is also the winner of The 2018 Wainright Award for Poetry.