William Brewer: “Oxy 40”

Oxy 40

Think of the mason jar

we use to kill yellow jackets,

the way it’s sealed upside down

over the nest’s grassy mouth,

how it thrums and pings with desperation,

hundreds throwing themselves

against the light, little empire

with the luster of golden tiles

stripped from an ancient mosaic

of the sun, the incandescence

of a ghost light burning lonely

in the Theater of All

That Could Have Been,

which has been shuttered closed

to wait out the long winter

descending on your will.

William Brewer is the author of I Know Your Kind (Milkweed Editions, September 2017), winner of the National Poetry Series, and Oxyana, winner of a Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship. Currently a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, he was born and raised in West Virginia.

photo credit: Daniel Kulinski Left side via photopin (license)