Ants

I must have been a sight to see,
there in the bathroom shower
water sifting around my toes
and swirling in a flaccid current around a clogged drain,
face peeling like the bark of an old Birch tree
to reveal the Queen of Hearts
in all her vulgar, red-faced fury.
I must have been amazing for just
a few
moments.

I gathered power behind my teeth
and dispersed an entire generation with my breath.
I watched,
with indifferent eye
as confusion set in,
tiny legs scattered to avoid
the corpses floating down the drain.
I must have been in my element.
Fight or
fight or
fight.

But my anger is a smoke screen,
an alluring deception.
It is layer after layer of oil paint,
that’s never been given the time to cure.
It is loose and wet and it breaks and runs
and runs
and runs.

It scatters as ants on my bathroom windowsill.
It sends me flying down the stairs,
knocking my hip on the wall
as I harness my damp skin in whatever the closest piece of cloth is,
because I have to leave right now;
right this minute.
Now.

And I will spend an hour walking my dog through the neighborhood.
I will seek movement as a balm for the severity of my anger.
I will make predications and sort the meaning of my choices
like I’m scrying our future out of cracks in the concrete.
I will throw off sleep and sanity like an abandoned shoe.
I will hear my breath as a labored love song
and I will hesitate in the comfort that is my mourning melody.
I will make earnest excuses for tiring behavior
and I will push ahead, through the foliage,
around the next corner,
a block to the right,
until I can’t see the lights in my upstairs window,
until there is a sunrise in my soul and I am so awake I cannot see the ghost of us
in tiny skittering legs on my bathroom windowsill.

 

© Laura A. Lord, 2020


As always, thank you to MindLoveMisery. I used a number of your posts this time. You have been choosing some wonderful words for me. You may see the posts here, here, and here.

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