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upquill in hyper_sparkplug

Jennifer Uhlich

The Bees

We are on the subway. She and I. Hemmed in by bodies: wool heat and wet dog sweat. Our bodies sway this way and that way and this way and that way. And to think that I had imagined her stomach. Of course I'd seen it, but then I imagined it.

Her lips and nails twitch like bees. They are the same vamp red—easily confused. She painted dentata and hung it in the lunchroom. What does she say? Oh we should go, we should go, let's go, when shall we go. But we have gone—

The world: a hole in my gloved index finger. Without that icecap ooh perish the thought. When shall we go? When she turns I press my forehead against the metal swiftly. Lovely to be so cold in this kennel: human.

I am too tired to go. Story of my life.

Her fingernails click the secret message beneath the subway's squealing: send help stop let's go stop forget stop. She laughs at the cold! hahaha and places five red drops on my arm, neither resting, no, nor hovering, that's right, just touching. A finely tuned precisely calibrated mechanism made by the finest Swiss engineers. Let's go, shall we go. And cross legs precise. And smoke cigars so.

She wiggles close and slides her head onto my neck. Listening to the violin whisper in my ear. Do you hear? Yes. To add to the collected works of. This is the way girls are supposed to, right? But of course. Our fingers curling around each other, just touching. Oh. Eyes over newspapers. Oh. Can I tell you what? She's searching for where the pretty sounds come from.

This is the way I like it: ear to ear, sliding sound, and would that she would let it be transfusion.

There was the time when she asked me to take her photograph and appeared in a negligee. I didn't get it then either.

How strings soar—banging the roof. Oh! Louder please, yes, ahh. We sway and slide across the strings and it all makes sense now: she conducts, we sway, ahh. Beneath there is something: look under the corner, that's enough, at least I won't lose any sleep tonight. It will all be there in the morning.

Streaming soaring strings sound like voice, is that why we love them most? Like I love. A thousand violins: wind in the wee hours that makes it shudder. Like saying goodbye again and again, this is how we learn it, at the knee. Oh and she is already gone. Oh.

She bee dances and then we shall. And then. The world then.

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