for all the cheese in the world

there are ants, and small little round bugs, rodents
of enormous size, relative thereto, though
to be sure, its sugar they prefer

cake crumbs, the sticky floor from a syrup spill,
or white granulated grains of it, pure
lying there like a treasure trove

from someone's failure to reach far enough
with a broom.

that's what we are made of, little globs of stickiness
feasted on by cells, some so ravenous
they take their own path, spread out

in their own design, random
useless to you, useless to me, a bulge
devouring their own kind, crowding

out life.


we have our ways of course,
to make them behave, to bomb them with rays
or poison their greedy little mouths

with what we despise, with what kills us
as well, just less quickly, more
painfully --

but what is suffering but an excuse
to whine, eh?
go back to your cheese

and crackers, your sodas, your cookies
iced or gingered, nutty or with chips
of chocolate, feeding the ants

and other insects, the spiders
one step up the chain. be a god
of trash, a provider to the universe

of tiny beings, inside and out
pretending you don't exist
just as you pretend they don't.



2007 by Tara Birch
posted 6/20/07

Ants
previous poem home next poem