Piotr Skiba ”In boxes, we think someone sits behind our eyes” at Berthold Pott, Cologne

Bees may be trusted, always,

to discover the best, nay, the only

human, solution. Let me cite

an instance; an event, that,

though occurring in nature, is still

in itself wholly abnormal. I refer

to the manner in which the bees

will dispose of a mouse

or a slug

that may happen to have found its way

into the hive.

The intruder killed,

they have to deal with

the body,

which will very soon poison

their dwelling. If it be impossible

for them to expel or dismember it,

they will proceed methodically

& hermetically

to enclose it in a veritable sepulcher

of propolis & wax,

which will tower fantastically

above the ordinary monuments

of the city.


When we die

our bodies powder, our bodies

the vessel & the vessel


Our dying does not fill

the hive with the stench

of dying. But outside

the world hungers.

A cockroach, stung,

can be dragged back out.

A careless child

forced a snail inside with a stick once.

We waxed over the orifice of its shell

sealing the creature in. And here,

the bottom of the comb,

a mouse,

driven in by winter & lack.

Its pawing woke us. We stung it


Even before it died it reeked – worse

the moment it ceased


Now everyday

we crawl over it

to pass outside,

the wax form of what was

staring out, its airless sleep,

the mouse we built

to warn the rest from us.


at Berthold Pott, Cologne
until 24 February 2018

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