Confessions on the Grass Behind the Library
South Carolina, 1987
Ants are happy little communists
schlepping through plastic spines of Bermuda grass,
humping their packs like Quasimodos
of the sandhills.
When I was ten
my parents bought me a chemistry set.
I was afraid of my own shadow in those days,
even afraid of the black keys on the Wurlitzer
but chemistry was good for retaliation,
for blowing things up,
for getting a reaction from the dead heat
of a Carolina summer.
108 in the shade.
I was a fry-brained slimy child of the pines
and the beaker of grinning sulfur
the hand of god.
When there is nothing left to do,
it’s been proven
you destroy, so I poured a test tube’s fizzy
yellow mess into the anthill’s eye.
I didn’t read the alchemy of it
or play any radio waves.
All those little soldiers came bubbling out
like perforated souls
who never could trust me again.