Thursday, May 3, 2018

May 3: Tim Seibles, "Magnifying Glass," Ants

Magnifying Glass

by:  Tim Seibles

No one
would burn
your name
for not seeing
the ant’s
careful antennae
testing the air
next to your
shoe, six legs
almost rowing
it along. Who

would be upset
if you brushed one
off-handedly off
your arm, undone
by the tiny
steps: what do
they want,
you ask — unaware
that they breathe
through their
sides. Do they
sleep? Do they
anything? No
one should

mark your soul
short     if you
mash one: when
two ants meet
there’s no tongue
for hello — it’s a
bug, a nearly
less than
little thing: at most,
made to chisel
under the fridge
with eyes that,
even in brightest
day, see not reds
or greens but gray
and gray again.
Who would

curse your life
if you bring out
the Raid?
How many
books have they
read? — that
brain    a virtual
speck. Is all
they carry
really work

or just some
dumb old daily
ado? — the heart
what blood, what
prehistoric nudge
on that
brittle head.


I saw my first ant of the summer today, crawling along the pavement, as if expecting to find a picnic to crash.  It was tiny and black and moving a little sluggishly, I thought.  Perhaps it had just woken up from a nap.

Yes, I'm even celebrating ants this week.  I've always had this image of ants carrying summer into the world on their tiny backs.  They are as much a part of the coming of June and July and August as warm days and humid nights.  Thunderstorms.  Sunscreen and firecrackers. 

Pretty soon, Saint Marty's nine-year-old son will be outside, studying the ant mounds in the cracks of the sidewalk, imagining the tiny ant universe beneath.  Ant hotels and restaurants, hospitals and schools.  Churches and amusement parks.

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