Birds and Bees

From my window, I watch the birds. I watch tiny blossoms open
on my Australian bottle brush tree, then frizzle into confetti and blow
around my yard. Crab grass infiltrates the lantana. Vinca blooms pink,
white, lavender, grows lusher, thickens.

Molly picks up skinny red-and-black striped bugs and says, “my favorites.”
When she was four, she would dangle two of them between her thumb and finger
and say, “Look, they’re holding onto each other.” Last weekend she held up
two of the linked bugs, said, “Look, they’re mating.”

My mother always sugared the strawberries, spooned raspberry jam
onto cottage cheese. My dad salt-and-peppered his cantaloupe and watermelon.
I can still see him sitting in his recliner, her walking over behind him,
bending down to kiss the top of his head.

There is a low-slung cloud vibrating in my backyard: a swarm
of bees humming like an electric razor. Frenetic buzzing as classical
string section, agitated and dramatic, musicians in tuxedos
frantically sawing violins with their bows.

My shirt is long-sleeved bougainvillea Tencel with silver buttons.
Inside it, I feel softened, altered; smell of sweat, breath, spit, a musk
I don’t want to wash off until I have to. A scent that couldn’t
be conjured solo or by any other two humans than us.