Issue 14 • 2011



from The Apiary


by Teresa K. Miller






It started with a few bees going where they needed to go by walking on the ground.  In our low-context culture, disability exi(s)ts biologically within the individual.  I called her again to say her son was making throat noises and refusing to stay in his seat.  We went to the movies and sat in a row of friends not holding hands and he said I’m going to be a dad.  A cable snapped and the cars snaked for miles. 







So much dependence on a sentence, clause as unit of meaning.  Then they began to turn up on their backs, legs crawling in the air, or crouch in a ball on the ground and stop moving.  You remembered him as the air being filled with birds.  Versus full of.  She told me he was becoming a young man, finding his place in the world.  Yes, but he said “Excuse you.”  Disability is both reified and in need of fixing. 







They stopped moving and the still bodies clustered by the elevator, a few on the stairs.  It is not contextual, not in relation to society or duty or what is expected of an individual.  What is your fatherhood in relation to a nuclear family, severed from context.  An opinion column lamenting the technological severance from supported courtship. 







True we are with one hand in each possible evening.  I hadn’t thought of where my name might end up.  And were squished, a few at a time, a constellation of crushed exoskeletons.  He is defiant and what will you do about it that I cannot.  If one could be taken seriously anymore, pen and paper.  Who is she as you pass this small body back and forth, if not yours. 







There grew something more than the line, than a book about prosody you gave me for graduating from high school.  A chair could earn a C if it sat quietly all year.  Before them were the bats, hanging dead in caves, white fungus growing from their nostrils.  Disability must be fixed if this is the only life we have, and if we will live again, it will be fixed then.  She said Thank you for calling.









Teresa K. Miller is the author of a chapbook, Forever No Lo (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2008), and  is a member of San Francisco’s Sanchez Annex Grotto.  She received her MFA from Mills College and has published poems in print and online journals, including Moria, DIAGRAM, MiPOesias, ZYZZYVA, Columbia Poetry Review, Coconut, and Word For/WordThe Apiary draws, in part, from Kalyanpur & Harry’s analysis of conceptions of disability in Culture in Special Education