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Sufjan Stevens- The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades Is Out to Get Us



How the Wasps Come In


I wrote this poem in the shower.

I wrote this poem when I realized the top of the window in the shower had dropped and made an insect entrance.

I wrote this poem days after meeting new wasps tapping at my kitchen window and wondering how they were getting in.

I wrote this poem after finding a dead one in the drain.


I wrote this poem while I was shaving my legs and hoping you might ask me to get on the plane with you.

I wrote this poem knowing that if I shaved, you wouldn’t take me.


I am writing this poem because someone told me to channel my energy into art, and I want him to feel helpful

like a child with a spoon smoothing a batter,

and to prove that I cannot cook metaphors right now.

This really happened. I can’t make a beige cake.

I am writing this poem  to put up a warning that says ‘Wet Paint’ on the door in order to keep me out.

I am  writing this poem so I don’t write this poem again.

This poem has stripes and a stinger and came in through in bathroom window.

The rest of this poem’s life beats against the kitchen panes

which I keep closed but with the blinds cocked like the eyebrow of an amateur detective mimicking instinct.

This poem is solved.

The insect has cuddled an elbow noodle and a lemon ride in a perforated grave.

I washed my hands over this poem. My hands smelled like radishes and foamed like a rabid prayer.

I am drying this poem with a white towel draped over the oven handle.


This is no longer a poem since I am no longer in the shower

where I wrote this naked while turning my slick hair into a knot

while water collected at my feet,

while I washed the places I can’t reach and discovered that freckle you worry about.

The whole time I was thinking about getting to paper,

frantic that I’d forget my own language

before I was dry, that after I’m dry I must moisturize,

how after that there is only a window

of time before my hair dries and needs an iron to tame it.

This is when this poem stopped being a poem

and became my routine.

You aren’t here to see that I washed my breakfast dish naked

and how this aroused another insect who began to launch its body against the window

at once begging and threatening me to love it by freeing it.

I left the dishes undone and went back to the bathroom where

I raked mascara over my eyelashes

and batted them until they were dry.



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