Fruitful by Stefanie Kirby (Driftwood Press, 2024)

Chapbook Poem: Like a Honeypot by Stefanie Kirby

Like a Honeypot

I’m covered with summer
bees. Their bodies shift
like a coat or runoff or
an open door. They’ve seen
my womb blinking like
a star in my abdomen.
A womb starts and ends
empty, a hollow in the shape
of a hive. Impossible,
the bees say, to clear
the honey from the blood.
Each season after, my body
empties in flood: something
sticky, something sweet.

(This poem was first published by Tab Journal.)

About the Poem

Stefanie Kirby

Author Bio

Stefanie Kirby

Stefanie Kirby lives and writes along Colorado’s Front Range. Her debut chapbook, Fruitful, is the winner of the 2023 Adrift Chapbook Contest, forthcoming from Driftwood Press. Her poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best New Poets, and Best of the Net, and appear in The Massachusetts ReviewThe Maine ReviewThe Cincinnati ReviewCola Literary ReviewSANDPoet Lore, and elsewhere.

From Fruitful

“Stefanie Kirby’s Fruitful is a remarkable lyric sequence about raising children during a pregnancy and subsequent miscarriage. If Chekhov advised that fraught subject matter be written ‘somewhat colder,’ then these expertly-crafted poems must have been written at absolute zero in Kelvin. The effect is a kind of creeping dread that increases with every line we read. A singular imagination, Kirby creates a new world, a world of intimate pain where ‘a wolf made of bees, the fur a soft buzz,’ follows the speaker whose ‘milk rings itself like an ocean” and whose ‘womb stacks / itself into cold, / neat cubes on / the linoleum.’ This poetry just contains the unbearable—though contain it must—for ‘to go under again would be to drown.’” -Carolyn Hembree, author of For Today


New Poetry Books (5/7/24)