The National Poetry Review

Dana Koster


I wanted you and so I conceived the sea.
Ask me whether a Queen Bee has a stinger.
If it’s true, what they say, about almonds, if
each one really requires a gallon of water
to grow – but only because I want you to know
how much I don’t.

Without water, your grandfather’s orchard would collapse
at the roots. Without bees it would produce nothing
but blooms.

I have made myself into a place
sunlight can’t touch.

I’ve read the Queen has the smoothest sting
so she can do it again and again. That she reserves it
not for protection, but for other Queens. That she stings
and lays eggs with the same tool.

DANA KOSTER is the author of Binary Stars (Carolina Wren Press 2017). She earned her MFA from Cornell University and was a Wallace Stegner Fellow. Her poems have appeared in EPOCH, Indiana Review, Southern Humanities Review, The Cincinnati Review, MUZZLE, Thrush Poetry Journal, Radar Poetry and many others. She lives in Modesto, California with her husband and two sons, where she works as a wedding photographer.

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