SWWIM publishes, celebrates, & promotes women, women-identifying & Femme-presenting writers through a Miami-based reading series & the online poetry journal SWWIM Every Day.

My Still Life with Wasps

I’ve lived in three homes in this town.
In three homes, wasps
nestled my walls:

paper hives blooming wildly,
unwanted August weeds.
They burrow toward my sleeping sounds at night,

and in the day they track me,
little sentinels from door
to driveway to door again.

The Bee Man arrives,
poisons this new nest
and can only cross his fingers.

Once before they died in pools
along my porch. Another,
they chewed through the wall and writhed

in inch-thick ribbons on my bed
until death gripped them in its teeth.
Once nestled, a home cannot

cut wasps loose to life, send them flying
to wilder, wider eaves,
an abandoned house or hollow tree—

this isn’t like the mother’s body, baby
breaking womb to emerge alive
and far from what it fed upon.

The house swells with wasps
that will be carried out only by death.
I am not afraid of such evil birth.


Amanda Moore's poetry has appeared in journals and anthologies including ZZYZVA, Cream City Review, Tahoma Literary Review, Best New Poets, and SWWIM Every Day, and she is currently a fellow at the San Francisco Writers Grotto. A high school English teacher, Amanda lives by the beach with her husband and daughter in the Outer Sunset neighborhood of San Francisco. More about her work is available at http://amandapmoore.com.

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