The Longer Journey

After a storm the ants come in
Looking for dry
An escape from the drowned ant cities
Tunnels to an underground world
Where a queen sits on a throne
Thousands of soldiers under her command
Marching through my bathroom
Part of a longer journey
That weaves in and out of a row of ramshackle apartments
Nestled on a cliff
Hanging over the Pacific Ocean
And when the storms come
The edge of the world can sometimes feel
Like the border between
Exhilaration and fear
And the cliffs appear ominous
In the intensity
Of their relationship with the boiling sea
And the thunder shakes the walls
Reminding the body
Of the impending earthquake
And the rains throw down rocks
From mountainsides
That threaten to transform
Into landslides
Sweeping the landscape of what used to be into the ocean
Forming a new lushness
In the rubble
The earthquake doesn’t come
The landslide doesn’t come
But the ants come
Marching through my bathroom
And in the corner
Where the door jamb meets the tub
Lies a growing pile
Of ant carcasses
A tiny mass grave
A burial ground for thousands of creatures
Brought into the dry
By their surviving soldier brothers
Under the command of the queen
I watch an ant
Carry in his mouth
His dead brother
Up the shower curtain
Across the rod
And down the tile wall
To the corner of the floor
Where he enters a new body
Into the registry of lost soldiers
Reminding me
That death is part of
The longer journey
Of the soul

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About audreyryan

semi-pro rogue theatre critic
This entry was posted in poetry and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Longer Journey

  1. Pam Walatka says:

    I like this. You capture a small moment. And also the big picture. When I lived on the cliffs of Esalen, I loved the drama of a storm. But after I left I had cliff-related nightmares.

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