Portrait of Wasps

by Mateo Lara

we are not saved, trapped in the nest
cradling arms, us, crawling with rage, twitching alive
tucked together, neatly in rows, made into a bed.
our buzzing was no warning
it was a reminder that building community
would find you blistering and
needing reminders of safety, poking your gut
hazily flapping translucent, veiny wings.
no amount of sleep could erase the blue of bruising
red swelling, purple collecting over pink-brown body.
hissing is only temporary after our pain
rushing of our fury, jolting between
fingers. sharpened pangs hiving
the only comforting solution to rash decisions
gliding down thin skin, someone always picking our fights
us, always ending them.
what do you do now? a jet-black
yellow jacket is covering mouth from gasping
no sound can escape, we swarm.
another release, another sting
another begging another swarming
another loss, another grief
another sting, another silence.

 

 

Artist: Jean-Raphaël Guillaumin

Mateo Lara is queer & latinx, originally from Bakersfield, California. He received his B.A. in English at CSU Bakersfield. He is currently working on his M.F.A. in Poetry at Randolph College in Lynchburg, VA. His poems have been featured in Orpheus, EOAGH, Empty Mirror, and The New Engagement. He is an editor for RabidOak online literary journal & Zoetic Press