by Amanda Moore
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.