blood honey by Jess Rizkallah

Scorpion by Natalie Voelker

blood honey

a something. a whirring in the flesh. multiplication of the mass under my collarbone
so instead of web md i go to bed & i dream of growths & arsonists living in my organs
setting fire to the kicking out of tune. even as i sleep, they try protruding through my skin.
by my bedside and inside the night all at once, i find him here. he points to the pain. tells me
“it’s okay / it’s because / you’ve got honey instead of blood.” & i spend the rest of the day
unsure of who said it first in the daylight months before he died. me or him. me & him. there
was a coffeetable. cold clove tea. sun everywhere.                  i like that i can’t remember.
i don’t want to remember. i want to be made of the molasses that held his body
together until it couldn’t. when my blood makes my heart squirm in its bracket,
i tell myself that bees are relocating to my chest. they think me ideal conditions.
less harsh than the outside. less decay & apocalypse.
a sweetness grief mistakes for a cavity.

Jess Rizkallah

Jess Rizkallah is a Lebanese-American writer and illustrator living in Boston. She edits Maps For Teeth and publishes zines at Pizza Pi Press. Her work has recently been published by Word Riot, Electric Cereal, Drunk in a Midnight Choir, Nailed Magazine, and her mother’s fridge. Find her on