The Wasp

by Emily Bradford

dangles double-gartered legs
trails a heavy amber bustle

batters itself against metal blinds
soft, percussive, manic.

Across the room I stand rigid
and watch its restless orbit

—a swoop, a flicker,
a retreat to the sill—

I will not close the distance
not to free it, nor to strike, for I

am familiar with the fear and sting
of other things that threaten nearness.

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