The Hornet Mascot Falls in Love

Patricia Lockwood

Piece human, piece hornet, the fury
of both, astonishing abs all over it.
Ripped, just ripped to absolute bits,
his head in the hornet and his head
in the hum, and oh he want to sting
her. The air he breathes is filled
with flying cheerleader parts. Splits
flips and splits, and ponytails in orbit,
the calm eye of the panty in the centre
of the cartwheel, the word HORNETS
– how? – flying off the white uniform.
Cheerleaders are a whole, are known
to disassemble in the middle of the air
and come back down with different
thighs, necks from other girls, a lean
gold torso of Amber-Ray on a bubbling
bottom half of Brooke. The mouths that
cry GOOD HANDS GOOD HANDS.
The arms he loves that make the basket,
the body he loves that drops neat
                                              into them.
Oh the hybrid human and hornet, who
     would aim for pink balloons.
Oh the swarm of Cheerleading Entity,
who with their hivemind understand
him. Rhyme about the hornet, her tongue
in her mouth at the top of her throat! Clap
one girl’s hand against another’s. Even
                             exchange screams in the air.
The pom-poms, fact, are flesh. Hornet
Mascot is hungry, and rubs his abs, where
the hornet meets the man. Wants to eat
                 and hurl a honey, in the middle
of the air. (No that is bees I’m thinking of.
Like I ever went to class, when the show
was all outside.) The hornet begins to fly
toward the cheerleaders. ‘Make me
the point of your pyramid,’ he breathes.
And they take him up in the air with them
and mix-and-match his parts with theirs,
and all come down with one gold stripe,
and come down sharp and stunned,
and lie on the ground a minute, all think-
ing am I dead yet, where am I, did we win.