Ja'net Danielo

TO THE MURDER HORNETS I WANT TO SAY

I get it. Who among us hasn’t wanted to kill

the sweetest thing? Lick smoke

& nut from our teeth, then rush that hive

to take what’s ours, gorge

on sticky spoils? We are only rust-gold

& bright for so long, thorax

of wing & unclaimed sky. And we’re so

tired of sucking the sap, bark-

parched lips making due with

sugar scraps. And we’ve got

so many mouths to feed. They burrow

inside the dark of our bodies,

open their tiny, pincer-like jaws.

Who hasn’t felt that aching maw

begging more, more? And who

wouldn’t risk it—thick, winged

vibration, fire-heat of waxed abdomen—

to be the danger again, a threat,

red-hot harm burning alive

in the eye of the swarm.

Ja'net Danielo is the author of The Song of Our Disappearing, a winner of the Paper Nautilus 2020 Debut Series Chapbook Contest. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Radar Poetry, Mid-American Review, Gulf Stream, Frontier Poetry, and 2River View, among other journals. Originally from Queens, NY, she teaches at Cerritos College and lives in Long Beach, CA with her husband and her dog. You can find her at www.jdanielo.com.

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