Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach


250 milligrams
of calcium deposit
into the skeleton
in your stomach
as some bees drink
from squash blossoms
and others
from tear ducts
the salt of what
sustains us
a doctor found
four sweat bees
living under
a woman’s eyelid
just think
how much life
survives and feeds
under thinnest skin
she’d been at a tomb-
sweeping festival
when a gust of wind
blew wings
into her eye
the insects’ once
honey stomachs
with mourning
and yours
with longing bones

Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach emigrated from Dnipro, Ukraine as a Jewish refugee in 1993, when she was six years old. She is the author of three poetry collections: The Many Names for Mother, Don’t Touch the Bones, and 40 WEEKS (YesYes Books, 2023). Her recent poems have appeared in POETRY, Ploughshares, American Poetry Review, and AGNI, among others. She holds an MFA from the University of Oregon and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory from the University of Pennsylvania. Julia is the author of the model poem forDear Ukraine”: A Global Community Poem. She is the Murphy Fellow and Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Hendrix College and lives in Little Rock, Arkansas with her family. Starting next fall, she will be the Assistant Professor of Poetry at Denison University and relocate with her family to Columbus, Ohio.