Tuesday, February 24, 2015

poem of the day 02.24.15


telly kept all kinds
of fast food bags in the office

he had the bags full of free trinkets
that he got at trade shows and other events

one of them held several hundred pens in it
although the bags still held the odor of food

the office smelled of rancid meat
and french fry grease whenever telly was there

in the spring the fast food bags attracted ants

some days there were just a few
but on most a line of thousands of ants
went single file behind computer stands and desks
to reach the fast food bags on telly’s side

instead of doing my job
i’d watch the ants scale the height of a bag

they looked like mountain climbers working in tandem

then they’d fall off the edge into the bag
as if committing a mass suicide into a volcano

there were many days where i had to take a broom
and get rid of hundreds of the ants

i felt like a grand executioner
killing entire colonies in one sweep

i knew i’d never be a buddhist doing this business

i felt for the ants
they were only doing what came naturally to them

at my worst
i’d have to take several
fast food bags and squash them

to the ants i imagined
it was like a bomb going off
one second fast food bliss
the other second mass annihilation

by the time telly came to work
both the bags and the ants were gone

he’d put his things down and then circle around his desk
looking at all of that negative space

where are my fast food bags?
he’d ask me, in that lispy way of his

but i’d just shrug and turn back to my computer

or i’d get up and go to the bathroom
to stare at my sinister self in the mirror

a mass murderer if ever there was one

before turning on the hot, brown water
trying my best to wipe the blood from my hands.


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