I’m about to break and—enter
stealing in through some side passage,
onto their backs, looting labor, with no
time to hatch
an escape plan; to boot—the kidnapped
a crayon-melt smell, a square tip-off and
it’s always hell—so let it begin, enter.
The ants know
a just-off color of chitin, when kink
in antenna’s a little
different, and what servants do not ache
for a part
of the renaissance they make—muralled
walls and clockwork
halls, a colony that grows and conquers
its queendom, revival-style—I, too, want
mansions, dream, and so
enter the ants’ cabal as they bid
each to hasten,
tend, send out more citizens, go & raid,
return with laden backs.
Though the servants fear their own pheromones—
in the only homes
they’ve ever known, (plenty of room but no
vacancy), I can’t see
how this can be, with compound eyes
color how impossibly bound to black and white
our dreams are
Cate Lycurgus’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Tin House, Orion, and elsewhere. A 2014 Ruth Lilly Fellowship Finalist, she has also received scholarships from Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences. Cate lives south of San Francisco, California, where she interviews for 32 Poemsand teaches professional writing. You can find her at www.catelycurgus.com.
Header photo by Tanes Ngamsom, courtesy Shutterstock.