Monday, January 05, 2015


A small white insect, ant-like,
slowly eats its way through the foundation
of the house,

eats its way through the phylum,
through wood pulp, knots, bark;
through oak, pine, sumac, pressed wood;

eating, eating,
working, sure of its goal.
The work is slow, sometimes it despairs
of reaching its goal.
It rests and listens
to the noise of the wind as it batters the house      
and streaks through the myriad little capillary tunnels
it has eaten determinedly through the walls.
This whistling, whooshing, rushing sound
gives the insect courage
before reminding it how much work
remains to be done.
And it goes back, determined
to bring down the home of the strange creatures
that are intent on destroying the habitable earth.

It will probably fail,

but it is leaving eggs—
today they are called “memes”—
and they will hatch into more little termites,
that will leave eggs that will hatch into more little termites,
on and on, and on,                                        
and together they will continue to eat
until they bring down the house
before the strange creatures who live there
destroy the habitable earth.

This is the sound of the little insect as it eats.


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