Left Turn Signal

When you run from a bee, you reduce its ability to sting you. Why are you running from bees? When a bee stings you, it dies. When it dies, it cannot sting a person who is allergic to bees. It is your responsibility to let the bee sting you. Sit in the bee garden and collect their small corpses in your lap. Let the bees sting you, you who are not allergic to bees. Just sit here in this garden, silently, and consider: is there a finite amount of sorrow in the world?

If you have truly let the bees sting you, you will feel pain, and you will feel it strongly. You will not feel catharsis. You will feel no reduction in guilt or shame. You will not feel closure. You will feel submerged in a deep sense of ambiguity. You will not be like a dog that cannot hold two conflicting viewpoints at once. You will be a wise dog. During your time in the bee garden, you will come to construct an operational definition of yourself.

America makes everything vulgar. It is a row of yelling houses. Confessions were once carried out in coffins in order to keep the flood of relief contained. In American bars and websites, you will come across neon signs flashing PLEASE TELL ME I CAN STOP HATING MYSELF. Well you can’t. Just sit there in the bee garden, quietly, and cry if you need to. Assume you’re always acting in bad faith. Do not be depressed, do not be happy. Suffer with intention. Convert to Christianity out of spite. Do something about yourself.

And yet every morning you awake from dreaming of a bee garden to find yourself inside of a mall where people are sleeping on yoga mats. They are screaming in their sleep. No matter how much golden light they pump into this mall, it is simply an aviary of shrieking birds. Your entire life will be conducted inside this mall. The ground is covered in shit. You drive around the mall aimlessly, forever. You keep your left turn signal on.

About Jayinee Basu

Jayinee Basu lives in San Francisco. She has been published in Everyday Genius, Metazen, Test Centre, Banango Street, Clearly Stated, and TAGVVERK. Her poetry collection, Asuras, is forthcoming from Civil Coping Mechanisms.

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