The Papery

A poem by Matt Dennison

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In slicing the papery dome off the hexagon,

the black and yellow self-held limbs, unmilked

face and flightless wings of the unborn wasp were

revealed. Removed with tweezers so God-mouthed,

wrapped in the muscular sun’s original desire for flight,

I pulled the infant out, attempted to spread its fate across

my nail-board. Unwilling to be displayed, it contracted,

withheld it’s mechanical death-secrets from a child

such as I. But what is youth without dissection?


After a rather extended and varied second childhood in New Orleans, Matt Dennison’s work has appeared in Rattle, Bayou Magazine, Redivider, Natural Bridge, The Spoon River Poetry Review and Cider Press Review, among others. He has also made videos with poetry videographers Michael Dickes, Swoon, and Marie Craven.

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