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Royal Festival Hall (Level 5), Southbank Centre, LondonOpen Tuesday - Sunday from 11am to 8pm
Artwork by Paul Peter Piech, 1991. Words by Shôson. © the Estate of Paul Peter Piech
I want to go back now, through the buzzing darkness.
I want to go into that humming hive awake,
wearing the net curtain you called my veil.
I want to walk down childhood’s garden
as that girl who married her mother,
through the marguerite bed
to that nest, where my bee-queen lies
deep in her brood chamber.
I want to see the honeycomb of your mind.
I want to look into your compound eyes
where I’m reflected as an angry swarm.
I want to be that daughter whose mother has stung her
because she’s a rival,
who’s still pumping venom into her.
I want to be that childless worker
who dared to sting back, shreds
of my torn abdomen hanging off you
as I leave my stinger behind.
I have cleaned the window of my self until I gleam.
I want you to see how radiant I am
on this, my wedding day.
With all the love I now know,
I want to brush the halo of your hair
that’s grown into a comet
and mend the delicate rays of your wings.
I’ll place royal jelly in your coffin for your last flight
and close the moonlit petals of your face.