Audio: Read by the author.

When the American cockroach lands
on its back trying to
flick the glorious
wasp off that moves like the hybrid of green tin
and blue glass, gem-
tragic cerulean

task, finite and fathomable as
a photoshopped sea, the
plan is already
in full swing: into the neurotransmitter-
primeval that
drives the bidding of the

now upended resolute legs of
cockroach American—
six times the size of
the wasp, and the color of a bottle of
Budweiser—thrusts
the neurosurgical

stinger, the accuracy of which
is neither hate nor love
but the beginning
of the brief paralysis in which she needs
to suspend the
roach so, unimpeded,

she can target a second cockroach
ground zero in its roach-
ancient cockroach head.
Do not fear mystery over precision.
That’s the mistake
of children in bed whose

abstract suspicions are dismissed. There
was a jewel. Its name
is wasp. She flies off
now to construct a specific nest. Do you
think the roach is
dead? There it stands doing

nothing when the wasp returns drained
from stinging, which you know
kills dead the honey
bees you dreamed of as a girl that prompted you
to pose your first
questions to self as to

sacrifice and valor—and so
weary now, drags herself
toward the roach, who makes
no move to defend itself, and bites off just
one of the crisp
antennae who among

us has not been queried by—as
I was once from a crack
in a cabinet
in a kitchen I was sharing with a friend
whose ex I should
not have slept with. Well, that

was unexpected. I haven’t
thought that trespass through in
a long time. Poems
are as good a place for the past as the grass
is for the wasp,
whose iridescent face

shines as she snaps the antennae
off the cockroach and laps
up the blood drink like
the wasp goddess taught her in the vision whose
street name, instinct,
oversimplifies how

satisfying I’m finding it
to say cock as often
as I have had the
occasion to here; American cock, in
particular.
I have good instincts. I

always have. People never shock
me, but I love to be
taken by surprise
by loyalty and candor. How I want the
wasp to mount and
ride the American

cockroach now, but it will have to
do to see the wasp use
the one antenna
the roach has left as a rein to steer it to
the nest she made
it, as a dutiful

stallion of apocalypse is
gently led back to its
stall in hell. Yes, it
will have to do, for now, having soul-hacked the
American
cockroach with a sting to

the brain so precise as to make
the roach stop roach-ident-
ifying and give
itself, body and force, zombie host to the
wasp egg the wasp
is laying inside it,

siblingless, starving-born hatchling
emerging in a few
weeks’ time by eating
itself out of the moist gut of the living
roach, who was led,
as I said, not ridden

by the wasp—no riding crop, no
matriarch giddyup,
just a groom and a
walk, and a nest and an egg, and a roach called
cock. It is, it
is, it is enough, but

this is evolution and we’ve
already come this far.