» Poetry

The Murder Hornet

can fly sixty miles in a day

& decapitate its prey

quicker than licking

honey off a thumb.

Size has its advantages.
& its costs. My mom
told me early I’d pay

for the size of my heart.

You feel too much, she said.
You want too much.

In the Love Addicts Anonymous

meeting, a white man in a gold ascot

said, I need to be devoured by love.

Devastated, I added, swallowed whole.

Murder hornets are efficient killers,

but is any torture more elegant

than chasing what you’ll never catch?

There was one time in my life

my heart felt right-sized,

quiet, & I was so at peace

I was invisible. The robin

thought I was a chair or tree

the easy way she cleaned

her feathers near my feet.

More often my feelings swarm,

a storm surge, how water alone

can warp metal, level a village.

When I keep feelings at bay

I appear okay, recalling

how Gulliver’s giant size

made him too dangerous

to keep.


Margot Douaihy

Margot Douaihy, PhD, is the author of Scranton Lace (Clemson University Press). Her book of true-crime poetry, Bandit/Queen: The Runaway Story of Belle Starr, will be published in 2021. Her work has been featured in PBS NewsHour, North American Review, Colorado Review, Madison Review, South Carolina Review, and Tahoma Literary Review.