Venom Song

by  Jeremy Windham

She drives to the park where he kissed her
for the first time under a rotted gazebo
festering with wasps. Four weeks ago
he told her they wouldn’t sting as long
as he was there and placed his chapped lips
over her naked neck while insects swarmed
above their heads.

Today she’s alone and desperate
to discover whether the octagonal shrine
has quietly deteriorated like some defiled
human body. White paint peels to reveal
a wilted interior, a splintered frame;
the structure hums for her. She halts
at its open mouth, gazes into its belly
at the bench she once shared with him.

Inside, she marvels at each hollow wasp nest
adorning the exhausted arched beams.
She listens carefully to the menacing minor-second
hiding between the inhabitants’ thin wings
when a seething wasp crawls out from its crevice
and staggers towards her. She reaches out
a trembling hand and lets it sting her
again and again in the same spot,
again and again.

Jeremy Windham is currently an undergraduate creative writing student at Stephen F. Austin State University. He prepares himself for the world by writing down how he feels about what he knows.

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