Hammer, hammer, hammer, the wasp
has been banging his head on the window for hours;
you’d think by now he’d be brain-dead, but no,
he flings himself at the pane: hammer, hammer again.

I ease round him to open the sash, hoping
he doesn’t sting me because then I’d be sorry
I didn’t kill him, but he pays me no mind:
it’s still fling, hammer, fling, hammer again.

I’m sure his brain’s safe, his bones are outside,
but up there mine are too, so why does it hurt
so much to keep thinking – hammer, hammer –
the same things again and, hammer, again?

That invisible barrier between you and the world,
between you and your truth … Stinger blunted,
wings frayed, only the battering, battered brain,
only the hammer, hammer, hammer again.

C.K. Williams


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