Siobhan Harvey

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Upon the destruction of a wasp nest

I watch at windows I cannot open,
seal the doors with wax, I think,
& ready to revel in the death of these imperfect speakers.
While the blood of sows, lizards’ legs, resmethrin & tetrachloroethylene
bubble in a cauldron close-by, my accomplice injects cocaine
through a vein. It creeps everywhere,
blocking his nose as if it were a nest.
His dust hates wasp communes & collectives,
thinking them selfish in their selflessness.
Then bearing a Sorex smile, he
pumps his tank again & again,
as though bailing out a sinking ship,
not scuttling one, as though pumping water
to end a fire, not lighting the flames.
Quickly the wasp-city burns.
A sulphur of cinders falls all jade & topaz.
I see my accomplice play his violin at a villa in Antium.
His tune turns the pineapple wasp-home rancid with its decay.
Seeing the wasps swaddled in mortuary bands, I wonder
if I might excuse my actions by claiming greater intelligence
or more right to life? No.
My happiness springs from open windows
& knowing that the shrill of wasp cacoethes
has been brought to a close. 
Now it’s too late to experiment with the truth.
From the caecum, where once life & energy, silence
like white dust, scum or the eggs of ants,
clings to the walls & clouds the air.

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