Homecoming Dance, by Kamakshi Ranjan


My last night of individuality began with a dance

I watched Apis as he took each light-footed step with heavy intention

First, he moved forward in a straight path

One leg forward at a time

Iridescent lights sparked off his back

Flecks of purple, pink, and blue surrounded him like confetti

The black and yellow of his stripes were a backdrop despite their boldness

His mosaic wings beat to a rhythm unknown to me

He was telling me something

I watched in awe as he moved closer and closer

He paused in front of me

All five eyes glimmered

The depth of their darkness consumed me

Assessing me

Swiftly, he turned to my right

His back towards me for some time as he circled back to where he began

Pause

And turn

He moved towards me again in a straight path

His black segmented legs seemed to lengthen with each step

Fireworks filled the air

Bursting from his body

When he reached me

He didn’t pause this time

He turned to the left

He took a few steps with his back to me

His wings buzzed slowly like a hymn

Sharpening in tone before he suddenly took off

The last few flecks of his light dimmed

Our dance was complete

Now I knew where to go

And I knew where to return

The hive is my home now.




Kamakshi Ranjan is an Indian-American writer/reader living in New Jersey. She graduated from Villanova University in 2019 and will be starting medical school this year.