Production, by AUDRE LORDE

100,000 bees make a sturdy hive

ready three days after the moon is full

we cut honey.

Sadiq loads the extractor


Curtis leveling the spin.

Sweet creeps like bees

through each crack of hot air.

Before twilight


long rows of bottles stand

labeled and waiting.

Tomorrow we make a living

two dollars at a time.


From “The Marvelous Arithmetics of Distance” by Audre Lorde. (Norton: $18.95.) These 39 poems, Lorde’s final volume, were written between 1987 and 1992. Lorde was the author of 10 volumes of poetry and five works of prose. She died in 1992. 1993 Reprinted by permission.