Dear Yellow Jacket

by Devon Moore

I’ve been taught to wish
on discarded eyelashes.
You are light as an eyelash,
your stinger curving in on yourself,
each leg delicately tucked in,
so fetal, so noble.
I can’t resist bringing you to my lips.
Dear yellow jacket, I have something to tell you,
your black-yellow exoskeleton reminds me
of the samurai armor I saw strung up with steel cables
behind the museum’s exhibition glass.
The samurai’s armor had long ago been disentombed
& separated from his body & blade.
Dear yellow jacket, don’t worry,
I won’t be taking any part of you to display,
I’m leaving you whole,
attached to your venom-tipped blade.
Dear yellow jacket,
let me hold you tenderly,
like a mother cradling her dead samurai son
from behind while he lays on his side,
his feet tucked up to his chest,
a blade cupped between his hands.
Wouldn’t that be an honest funeral?
Dear yellow jacket, I’ve been meaning to tell you:
When my father died he was the strongest man
I ever met & he cried for his mother.
My wish is for that not to be thought of
as a contradiction. Dear yellow jacket, thank you
for your honesty, wholeness is only possible
for the time it takes an eyelash
to fall from my eye, when I drop you down
to your grass grave your siblings will come
& carry you off, piece by piece,
in their pronged-mouths.

Devon Moore is the author of the poetry collection, Apology of a Girl Who Is Told She Is Going to Hell, which was released in 2015. A former Syracuse University Fellow and Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts Juried Fellow, she has an MFA in Creative Writing from Syracuse University. Her poems have appeared in Gulf Coast, Meridian, The Cortland Review, New Ohio Review, Mid-American Review, Juked, and elsewhere. She currently lives in Syracuse, NY where she teaches writing at Syracuse University and the State University of New York at Oswego.

Issue number: