Sand Wasp by Danae Wolfe; for more information, visit

Sweater of Wasps

by Raina K. Puels

She coaxed you into a sweater of wasps,
swallowed the queen,
commandeered the hive.

Threaded bodies warmed you through the winter;
you relished the reliability of their heat.

I prayed my voice would break
through the buzzing
and guide you to my reach.

Come spring,
you walked my way.
But the wasps
engulfed your thighs.

You cried for help.

I backed away from the swarm
and watched you claw at the wings,
braving stings to free your skin.

You fainted
and the wasps,
satisfied with your demise,

To atone for my inertia,
I carried you home
and kissed your swollen limbs.

Soothed to sleep by cicada calls,
we woke to a frenzy—

a panicked wasp trapped
between glass and screen.
You grabbed a paperback,
opened the window.

I paused you with a whisper,
cupped her in my trembling hands,
and carried her slowly into the garden.

About Raina K. Puels

Raina K. Puels is an MFA candidate at Emerson College.  She’s the Nonfiction Editor for Redivider & a reader for Ploughshares. Her purple leggings are often bespeckled with glitter & cat hair. You can read her in Three Line PoetryWeave Newsb(OINK), Animal & forthcoming in Sick Lit Sidereal.  Tweet ‘er: @rainakpuels