Ellyn Lichvar

The Slap: photogram on paper, 6 x 6 in. Celeste Goyer

Paper Wasp


Dead wood and plant stems,

saliva, all these open hallways.

I am writing to say I had the dream again.

You’ll know it. But instead of my head lying there,

it is a nest, paper comb once hidden in the eaves

plucked out and placed on your sleeping chest.

I am going to say it’s the architecture

that did it, buzzed a path to the subconscious,

built it in a day, a home and the eggs and

everything else. I am writing to say this

is not my first offering, this is not my

heart offering. It’s something found

while cleaning up. It’s crawlspace dust,

attic must, a hawk’s call

and something else in the distance.

If you whisper, if it buzzes, I’ll hear it

from here. Keep still. Perceived peril

is a threatened sting, buzz saw song.

Keep quiet, love. Enough has been ruined.