I’m about to break and—enter the ants stealing in through some side passage, hoisting larvae
onto their backs, looting labor, with no time to hatch an escape plan; to boot—the kidnapped give off
a crayon-melt smell, a square tip-off and once conscript, 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 beyond
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 kaleidoscoping
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.