They’re all coursing in a sort of
spider-broken river, sometimes bumping head-
-on then shake and move on,
eyes either evolved off the pointed face or hidden
under the brim of the cargo they carry.
Seeds for the winter? Sugar for the queen?
If you look closer, and if your eyes have not evolved
against your seeing, you will notice
Each insect gingers a different freight:
One onyx berry, leaking nightshade-sultry tears
illuminates the path of one as he goes
Another bears a leaf like a great green sail,
coveting the secret pearl
of empty opaline
dew that rests between its veined waves
A third lugs a broken heart – a part
of a cherry, the seed
Absent. The other half
Someone else’s baggage somewhere in the crowd,
nibbled and colonized by sugar-sucking
acquaintances, it is probably no longer recognizable
Except to itself, and even then –
If you look closer, really really listen you can see
This writhing stream of ants incidenting up and down
this sidelong stump of ancient tree
Each carries his deepest secret, each keeps her juice-aching heart
Safe from penetration yet plain to the eye
that has evolved to look closer.
If you bump into some body and some ruby prostrates
naked on the ground, don’t be alarmed
wait to stomp
until you have listened.
For broken twigs can twine around newfound limbs
You might hear an echo
Or discover a drop
Of dew, a pearl
Within your own closed doors
You thought you walked this empty street alone, didn’t you?
Image credit: By Thomas Quaritsch – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=554566