Pure and Simple by Shelley Roche-Jacques

The man at the farm shop said that black bees with yellow stripes are angry and aggressive, while yellow bees with black stripes are placid and relaxed. An altogether different type of bee.

I spread the honey on my bagel and concentrate hard. Does it taste angry?

The man at the farm shop said he has two hives in the woods, two tribes, that keep clear of one another. He said that cheap, imported honey is nowhere near as pure.

I press my tongue to the roof of my mouth, try to imagine what purity tastes like.

I am going to use the rest of the honey in a cake for my friend’s birthday. If she is allowed to stay in the country, if she will still be here with us on her special day.

The man at the farm shop said that we have to take back control, that we can’t be dictated to, that we can make this country great again.

I spoon the golden light he’s sold me into the mixing bowl, watch it slowly spread and seep.

Shelley Roche-Jacques’ work has appeared in magazines such as The Rialto, Magma, and The Boston Review. Her debut collection of dramatic monologues Risk the Pier was published in 2017. She is particularly interested in the idea of using monologue and flash fiction to stimulate social and political debate.

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