There is a lost snood somewhere beyond the parking lot. A boy made of basalt smashes a TV with a sledgehammer. He cries for his lost snood. Basalt tears click the top of the TV like wasp legs. Each time a basalt tear clicks the top of the TV wasps look at the boy & clench their bodies like frozen milk. They do not like the fact that the boy's basalt tears sound like their legs. One of the wasp priests makes an entry on the wasps' todo list: Destroy the Boy Made of Basalt. Other entries on the todo list include: Destroy the Woman Made of Toenails; Destroy the Man Made of Dead Batteries; Invade the Community Center; & Find More Jams, Jellies & Preserves.

A boy made of basil hits his father's bald head with a rubber mallet. Lighting severs the night. One by one the carports shakes like wet yeast. His father is made of crepe paper. He lies on the cement floor of the carport. The boy made of basil has been waiting to hit his father with this rubber mallet for six days & seven nights.

Wasps in the exhaust pipe of an abandoned Chevy discuss the possibility of eternal life. While many wasps are doubtful, the priests are influential wasps. They run the jam, jelly & preserves storage facility, which is hidden deep inside the abandoned Chevy. The religious zealots believe that eternal life lies within each wasp. They chew holes in their own thoraxes & attempt to turn themselves into knots. Wasps have no blood vessels.

In this subdivision each ranch-style home is delightful. The sunrooms face east to catch the rising sun. The carports are sturdy. Each half-acre of lawn is green. Abandoned cars litter the shoulders of each street. Each street is named Elm Street. On the first day of fall there is a festival in the park in the subdivision. A dozen jugglers juggle three-dozen bowling pins. Fifteen clowns tease fifteen leashed bears with long sticks topped with peacock feathers. At night the residents of the subdivision return to their delightful ranch-style homes & listen to the wind rustle the chokeberry bushes.

In the corner of the dining room of one delightful ranch-style home the little girl made of soap bubbles listens closely to the record of the saxophonist to hear the soft intake of breath after each tangling spark of notes. Every time she moves some of her soap bubbles pop. Periodically she must rub & shake herself to make more soap bubbles. She thinks that if she listens hard enough the sound of the saxophonists inhaling could stop time.

The woman made of match heads etches glass with acid. At night she uses a silver template to etch images of flames on the windshields of the abandoned cars that sit in the driveways of the subdivision. She looks at the images of flames on the windshields of the abandoned cars & dreams of a couch of hot caramel into which she could sink.

The boy made of basalt misses his mother. His mother was made of cigarette ashes. It is her snood that the boy made of basalt has lost. She gave it to him one windy night. "Son," she said, "you are both hard & light. You are as much your father's son as you are mine." The boy made of basalt scratched his forearm & fine black dust fell to the white carpet. "It is very windy outside," she said. She stood still a moment & the boy made of basalt could hear the theme song to his favorite TV show, which was at this moment starting. "I give you this snood." The woman made of cigarette ashes removed the snood from her head & handed it to her son. Then she opened the kitchen door & walked out into the carport. The wind instantly dissolved her body & disseminated her ashes throughout the subdivision.

The only yield sign in the subdivision is sloppy with bullet holes. The color yellow, however, remains yellow. As the number of bullet holes increases the sign feels less & less inclined to speak in the imperative. He considers changing himself into a sign that reads Please Refrain From Public Weeping. But his mother, who is very wise, reminded him that he would then be a please refrain from public weeping sign rather than a yield sign & that this change probably requires a governmental decree.

The boy made of basil watches a large red lump rise on his father's bald head. It is made of crepe paper. His sister was made of plastic carnations. She was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. She had a huge cd collection & she let him borrow cds whenever he desired. She once gave him sixteen hundred dollars & told him to flush it down the toilet. He did this immediately. She never spoke of the money again.

A housewife made of bee stings adds rice to the saltshaker. Her husband sits on his couch in his garage and drinks a bottle of pine tar. He is made of pine tar yet he enjoys the flavor of pine tar. His garage is covered with poster-sized photographs of himself holding a rainbow variety of dyed polar bear heads. He has not left his garage in twenty-one years.

A long line of ants carry ten thousand bent staples back to their nest. They are fortifying their nest with bent staples in preparation for the day when the wasps will invade. They sing gospel songs as they work. Ants do not have a wide range to their singing voices, but they engage in complicated rhythms of call & response. Therefore their gospel songs, while not beautiful, can be called, at the very least, interesting. The ants believe in an afterlife in which every ant lives alone in a tastefully furnished town house. Most of the ants fear this.

An envoy from the wasps approaches the boy made of basalt one day as he paints his house pink. "Wasps have excellent eyesight," the envoy says. "We have no blood vessels." The boy made of basalt holds his paintbrush & thinks that if he were to lick it the pink paint would taste like cotton candy. "We could fly throughout the subdivision & retrieve each cigarette ash that constituted your mother & return them to you." The boy made of basalt watches pink paint drip off the paintbrush onto his hand. The envoy from the wasps shuffles his red ornamental gown & buzzes his wings. "I'm telling you that we could bring your mother back. All we want from you is the keys to the community center." The envoy from the wasps watches the boy made of basalt, whose left eye has a slight twitch. The envoy from the wasps wishes fervently to have blood vessels. It is embarrassing to speak so slowly during the winter.

A woman made of toenails holds a toenail clipper in her hand & cries like River Phoenix. She was born in another subdivision & though she has lived in this subdivision for thirteen years she still does not feel like it is home. There are no elm trees here, only chokeberry bushes & plastic baby rattles. She used to visit the husband in his garage without the housewife made of bee stings knowing. They would watch Nascar together & she would paint herself with glossy red nail polish. She has not done this in a very long time & she wonders if the housewife made of bee stings ever knew.

The boy made of basil plants dice in his dead sister's garden & waits in front of his desktop computer, a mouse in one hand & a mouse in the other hand. His sister has been dead for seven days.

The woman made of match heads grows antlers in the window boxes of her delightful ranch-style home. The woman made of match heads dreams of burning down her delightful ranch-style home. Each night at dinner her daughter, who is a little girl made of soap bubbles, asks her "what did you learn today mommy?" Each night the woman made of match heads responds I learned 86,400 new ways not to burn down a delightful ranch-style house. She serves her daughter raw chicken. She serves her daughter raw marrow scraped from deer bones.

The boy made of basalt blames the TV for the lost snood. He has learned to blame the TV for everything he loses, including the snood. The TV has asked to table the conversation. He wants to discuss the situation with the mother of the yield sign. The mother of the yield sign is not only wise she is wily in matters of diplomacy. She once tricked a frog into trading its own eyes for a one-way bus ticket to Chinatown.

The wasps have colonized all the dirty teddy bears in the subdivision. They are beginning to print books. They print the books on paper that the paper wasps make. The best seller right now is about a wasp who goes back in time to speak to The First Wasp and learns that The First Wasp was not made of raspberry jam, as the priests say, & actually harbored hopes & fears & confusions strikingly similar to the hopes & fears & confusions of most modern wasps. The second-best seller is entitled We Must Destroy All Humans for They Are Lazy.

The boy made of basalt holds an ant on the tip of his thumb. The boy made of basalt watches a delightful ranch-style house, inside it the little girl made of soap bubbles removes her clothes slowly & carefully so as not to pop herself any more than she must. He watches her turn off the light. The window is dark. He looks at the ant. He wonders if he could light the ant up from the inside if he had a light bulb small enough. Ants have no blood vessels, he thinks. He knows that the little girl made of soap bubbles is lying naked on her bed of wax.

The boy made of basalt talks to the boy made of basil on the telephone. They can hear the wasps. The wasps hum the sounds of baseballs. The wasps hum the sounds of ice. Sometimes the boy made of basalt thinks he can hear his snood in the distance, but he is afraid it is the wasps attempting to trick him to venture out beyond the parking lot. Everything beyond the parking lot belongs to the people made of plastic & the boy made of basalt & the boy made of basil have heard nothing but horrific tales about these people.