Yellowjackets

It isn’t that I see them human,
these yellowjackets dying in the trap,
or compare the size of brains,
or say that there are other lives
(if there are other lives
as some monks believe),
or claim no wasp will ever cry for me —
none will ever miscount,
innocently kiss,
regret a dull
insensitivity.

But only absolute sadness
in a piece of plastic
hanging from a beam,
the circles they trace on its wall
in the town’s first frost
a million miles from purpose.
It’s just the fact of it is wrong
and nothing else.

Among My Superpowers

One. Finding lost things
my wife could never find,
but I failed with virginity
and no longer count it on my résumé.

Two. Casting protection spells for deer.

Three. Sketching.
Well — until recently.
I can’t draw anymore:
all art discriminates;
it is all about difference,
and I have lost the sense
of one thing in relation to another.

I take off my shoes and place my feet,
heel to sod, in the prairie coneflower,
take a pencil,
but my talent is gone.
The upright toe of the flower,
in the blue grama
like a nub of cherubim,
and the tall rye grass
seem attached to me;
my legs now, articulated like juniper.
The berries on the sand cherry are out,
bulging, livid as the eyes
of damselflies,
and the powder-green sagewort,
that wild shortgrass, fringes my scalp
down to the flint and shale
of this ancient skin.

The pencil disappears.
I find it with the mountain mahogany,
where it has grown feathers.
It is still too weak to fly.
By the weekend it will be
south with Scorpio.