Emma Scott Schaeffer

certain wasp babies
nestle unborn inside
caterpillars, dormant
until they hatch and gnaw
their way out.

they turn its flesh
to a shell, a series
of conjoined caverns.
it dies from the inside

out, cell by cell demise
sped up for the hungry,
the buzzing that worked
their way in until

they burst through the skin
stinging and satiated, the world
a larger body.

Emma Schaeffer is a teacher and poet based in New York City. She earned her B.A. in English at Vassar College, and is currently finishing a Masters in Special Education at Hunter College. Her most recent publication credits include The New Haven Review, Pioneertown,, and Maudlin House, and a poem forthcoming in Rise Up Review. You can contact her via her website at