Nicky Beer


                         aka Ichneumonid wasp

An obsidian, Croenenbergian prop,
the horrifying marriage of organic
and engineered, like the hinged, chitinous cunts
of those larval aliens famed for chestbursting.
Landing on the stove, it renders
the rococo contours of the spaghetti spoon
vaguely sinister. Nerve and broom falter:
projecting from its rump are twin stingers,
wickedly black, double the length of its body—
the whole creature nearly half a foot
of vengeance in excess. One cannot
regard it without ruminations of torture—
disembodied hypodermics, bamboo slivers,
fragment of an Iron Maiden’s heart—
nor can one ignore the repugnant softnesses
obscured in one’s own flesh: small reserves
of future betrayals. But this malevolence of form
is merely that which is female: the doubled barbs
are ovipositors, akin to a snake’s split cock—
Nature keen as always to double her productivity—
so that she may seize the pallid, sexless grub, mount
it from behind in the obligatory porno choreography,
and fuck it deeply in the back, filling it
with paradox: an insemination of eggs.
The grub—for whom the open air
is a grave, its life a dim vigil for the incipient,
lacquered salvation of armor and wing
—the grub will take its seclusion in the obliterating
earth, the memory of ravishment dispersing
into bifurcated roots, until all that remains
is a vestigial doubt troubling the placid recesses
of its blind thoughts, easily dismissible, until
the moment when its spine splits and erupts
with life, the young having devoured it
to the immaculate core . . .
In the kitchen, she’s buzzing the ceiling fan’s
stilled quadrivial. Unimpressed, she jerks
the ink-veined membrane of her wings
in a brief adieu before coasting out the broad,
vertical rent in the window screen,
our femme fatale, an ornate diptych
of double X’s against dusk’s luminous marquee.




“Stumphumper” is from The Diminishing House (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2010).