Hornets: A Poem

A hornet, the kind that stings,
rests three boards away
abdomen pulsing like a sexual member,
keeping fluids moving.
A breeze blows - its wings shiver - and everything is still.
Expect the stripped pulse.

I think about times hornets have stung me,
out of malice (or terror).
The results: a finger swollen at the knuckle,
a lip made thick with fluid, like I'd been punched.
And once when the hornet was trapped against me,
I knew not how to let him go.
A hornet, when cornered, can sting like a legion.
The bright pain, is disproportionate to such a tiny terrified insect.

I think, with the palm of my hand, one motion,
I could flatten him.
The sting he might grant me, his last.
He, small and worthless beneath my hand
the pain of venom a vaccination
against feeling powerless before hornets.

I imagine his ruptured abdomen beneath my palm,
the smear of revenge, a gut slick
like the malice in my own ideas.
In the hesitation, he takes flight,
taking revenge of his own,
leaving me to wonder.

Share this story