Two wandering across the porcelain Siberia, one alone on the window sill, four across the ceiling's senseless field of pale yellow, one negotiating folds in a towel: tiny, bronze-colored antennae "strongly elbowed," crawling over Antony and Cleopatra, face down, unsurprised, one dead in the mountainous bar of soap. Sub-family Formicinae (a single segment behind the thorax), the sickle moons of their abdomens, one trapped in bubbles (I soak in the tub); with no clear purpose they come in by the baseboard, do not bite, crush bloodless beneath a finger. Peterson's calls them "social creatures," yet what grim society: identical pilgrims...
From Ants by Joanie Mackowski. Copyright © 2001 by Joanie Mackowski. Reprinted by permission of University of Pittsburgh Press. All rights reserved.