Around a pool of sorghum
thief ants lower their mouths and twitch in the feed

                        each animal growing by
accretion,                                              vote by
                        vote,                             the theory of seconds increasing
                                                until the clock starts over—
the paycheck; DNA.
                                                                                    How long until the rice is ready?
                                                How long has the rice been ready?

                        I feel my hair growing and know not what it means.

                                                            When we drove across train tracks, I threw my arms
            across my brother’s lap to absorb shock.
                                    The question remains: Which of us had
                                                                                                the best life?
                                                                                    I can’t be sure
                                    but this will sting, I said
                                                when I held my mother
and put my brother’s hand
                                    back beside his body.
                                                                                                The ants move closer   
                                                closer and closer.
            The ants move into my camera and move on.
                                                                        The ants move into my head
                        my mouth
                                    I taste the ants I swallow the ants
                                                                                                a spider
                        could have woven around my mouth
                                                                        like a room
                                                                                    a kiss
            a woman still                
                        burying herself                                                 pulling off the world
                                                                                    like fly’s wings:                         
the distance
                        between sugar stores                  is grief.

I belong to a club that gets salt each month
                                                                        from a sea I’ve never inhabited.                                                                                     
                                                                        My mother scattered his ashes into the sea

                                    and each night I draw a bath
            with ashes from incense.                                                            The real sea:

                        a sound with music and water.

                                                                        In the future
is it possible to alter the half-lives of isotopes?
                                                                                    I cannot see the future
for myself or any of my doubles
                                                            but I see the days ahead of him.

Surely it cannot go on much longer, this desert oasis.
Surely it cannot go on much longer, this desert
                                                                                                            in which the jet black
                                    inkwell of my eye

                                                            spills, staining the ants who come to see.