In the black and white photo
I am two. I squat
and hold a bug between
thumb and finger--
an intent look on my face.
A man sits beside me and says
"I don't love you." I don't know this man.
Three stops until I'm free.
The train isn't crowded enough.
In every school project I used bugs.
I never killed them.
Honey bees were my favorite catch--
scooping them one-handed off the clover
like gold dust.
He says, "I like your hat."
I move towards the door.
Should I leave should I stay
does he look violent.
Already I am late.
I taught a friend how to catch bees.
I told her they won't sting--
If they sting they die--
Just be gentle.
The man gets off at my stop--
I try another exit but there he is
in front on the stairs turned, and
scanning the crowd--
My friend got stung. You squeezed too hard
I told her. There was light
on the clover. The air was light.
We ran from the field.
I remember the length of her hair.