Fire Ant

walking past the statue of our founding slaver
the gears and cogs inside me keep it down
to a low hum, rise up to a steampunk
clanging screech when we pass the
food basics where bananas are 49
cents a pound because chiquita corp.
propped up dictators, tore down the
rainforests and here we are: fat yet
still hungry, tied into boy scout knots
over 2 for 1 specials and pension plan
formulae. the beams began to sag,
even the wallpaper grows sinister,
the words of the spell that would
set it all right are long forgotten.
even on holidays fire ants work
so hard, the mass production
tickles the amygdala like a
big brother with a mean streak.
cracked-rearview caliban; air
pregnant with tornadoes. turns
out the old maps got it all wrong!
greenland isn’t nearly that big. the
southern hemisphere got a raw deal.
there’re falling angels everywhere.

Darrell Epp’s third poetry collection, Sinners Dance, was the recipient of a 2019 City of Hamilton Literary Arts Award. His fourth collection, Mechanical Monkeys, will be published by Mosaic Press in 2021.

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