When an atypical landslide reduced a small town in southern Louisiana to unattached rotting porches and a lingering stench of decomposing creole food, a child was born to an unmarried handmaid and her starving artist. The landslide caressed the overfilled woman’s stomach with an unconventional mixture of dirt and whiskey, enticing the child to emerge with open palms to sliding cars and shifting house platforms. Reluctantly pulled, in a single whisk of the universe’s hands, from her mother’s legs into a creek riddled with mud-bugs and dirt dwellers.
A natural birth brought her footing, detailing her upbringing and the enchantments it brought upon the young southern pauper. Raised by the thick flurries of insects that hover above murky water, snacking on sweet suckled flowers, she was named Honeybee for her golden blonde hair and the sting of her tongue. A bite which proved deadly to herself and to those who receive.
Discovered years later by the local witch doctor, the young girl spoke in a flowery prose that brought life and death alike, all with the strangeness of a cursed outsider. Her long spidery lashes flashed while her eyes, colored like the cicadas that littered gardens, buzzed around the healer. Light skin with a moth wing luminescence speckled with various brown recluse bites that turned into raised freckles as the scars on her soft underbelly mimicked a black window’s markings. With just a touching, brush of skin, she can make you itch like a flea, feverish like a tick.
When she parts her lips, butterflies escape and paint her pages with a rhythm of words as their wings beat methodically. And if you’re careful, she’ll pull you aside and truly show you what language the insects speak in.
Growing up as an ice hockey player and philanthropic entrepreneur in Colorado, I cultivated my interests as an avid activist, poet, and outdoors enthusiast. This is reflected in both my business that supports women diagnosed with breast cancer, which I created at age thirteen (kennaskards.com), and my personal commitment to travel outside of the United States every year. My involvement in the San Diego community includes being a University of San Diego Honors Program student, the managing editor of USD’s creative writing publication, The Alcalá Review, and being vice president of USD’s non-profit community-service oriented organization.