the ants always find me

unfurl from the dirt with their eating.
i wake up to a scattering of ants 
from the trash can in the living room
& i rush to press each on 
into crumple. 
i think of that dorm sophmore year 
where the ants could locate
a single misplaced cheerios on the carpet.
there is never just one.
i search for a trail but just find more 
& more across the room. down the hall.
my whole body prickles. ants can smell food
from up to 200 meters away 
& there i slept a huge wedge of meat.
could the ants have found me
as i slept? yes, yes they could have
each opened their individual mandibles
& swallowed me piece by piece.
i think they are gone. think i have won
but my heart still flutters
like a broken nestling. a new one
down from the ceiling. i remind myself
if have seen worse. one morning 
the ants devoured our mini fridge.
in my parents house a trickle of ants
march from the door to the cupboard.
this is just a scattering 
i am safe. i will win. 
where do your teeth come from?
mine arrive like a creek
of ants. i see ants from the corners
of my eyes & they are not there.
just ant ghosts. ghosts of ants.
all the tiny collapsed creatures.
if i were an ant i guess i'd do the same.
not much else but roam & roam 
& hope the wall is arching somewhere.
dear reader, sometimes i am a wall.
the ceiling is thankfully getting higher.
i am crushing each one i find.

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