Here’s where we can go without leaving home
in the deep chamber with our fellow ants
working to serve the rumor of a queen.
Ah, the smell of breakfast fungi grown
on the forage of garbage from the sky,
the surface of crushing surprises and
sudden disappearances from the touch
of antennae, our intimate chatter.
How good to be free of it before death,
to live all day without the sound of calls
in the next cubicle, the raids of rival firms,
the warnings of colony attrition.
The sun plays freely on my face, and rain
streaks my cheeks with unaccustomed laughter.
M. A. Schaffner has work recently published or forthcoming in The Hollins Critic, Magma, Tulane Review, Gargoyle, and The Delinquent. Other writings include the poetry collection The Good Opinion of Squirrels, and the novel War Boys. Schaffner spends most days in Arlington, Virginia or the 19th century.