Sentences About Living With Bees
by David Jacobsen
Two tires roll the narrow trail, raveling a knobbed line of stitches on the curving dirt.
Shafts of sun brush past evergreens.
His legs pump and the bike thrums, barrel-chested, like the colony of honeybees hived inside the wall behind their bed.
Last spring they watched, delighted, as the garden buzzed with activity.
She told him not to mind when drones began to slip past gapped shingles.
The bees had, along with the sweet-peas and sunflowers, taken root.
Once he had called it waste, all that honey hidden far from taste.
She had stilled him with a finger, a flick of her eyebrows telling him to listen.
Her eyes and teeth had flashed in the dark as she grinned at the nearby sound of industry. Now, nearly home, he watches their house snap into substance between trunks.
A child might have drawn it with crayon: square topped by triangle, four windows, gray smoke looping into sharp blue sky.
His tongue rafts the valley between the ridges of his molars.
He touches a flat spot—a cavity newly filled—that remains unfamiliar.
The bike is hung from its front tire on a hook beneath the back eaves.
From the floor—where he sits to tug shoes and socks from dirt-caked legs—he sees her dancing near the sink, slicing greens in time.
He pads past, touching her waist.
When the noise of hot water stops, she pours two fingers of bourbon into two tumblers.
The smell of soap announces him.
She asks him to ready the table.
After bowls and forks, he tips flame to wicks, and the wicks coax wax into a heated dance.
He unfolds the story of sunlight fingers smoothing, smoothing ponderosa hair.
Once, months earlier, she had said she could taste them tasting it—told him that in her mind she’d mapped the mellow fruitfulness of the brimming cells: each from a different flower, each with a different flavor.
Nine candles burn while she and he dine inside the only light for a mile or more, twinned.
Near their bed in the other room, nectar sweetens unseen.
Who can know what might be established when the darkness is sufficient.
David Jacobsen lives and writes in central Oregon with his wife and two sons. His pieces can be found in various journals and anthologies, and he is the author of Rookie Dad: Thoughts on First-Time Fatherhood. As D. R. Jacobsen, he is a contributing writer, most recently to The Truest Thing About You. He holds master’s degrees in theology and creative writing and can be reached through his website, jacobsenwriting.com.