ANTS AND THE DOUBLE HELIX
With the cuttings of my nails
you can curse me, or by the ground
where my shadow lies. Snip,
a nail falls away, but witchery once
is science now: chains
of nucleotides bind the signature
of the self, and there they are
locked in horn, a thumb
print in every cell, all me.
Careful as we are
to keep ourselves intact
and singular—washed clean,
waste flushed away, nothing’s
enough, no one is safe.
Where I pick at a scab, and a flake
of dry skin flicks to the grass, look—
the ants have gathered, it rocks
like a live thing, shimmers
with movement, one moment
of thousands where I scatter myself out,
becoming permeable to the world
that has a use for everything.
Ants nibble me cell by cell,
hoist me over antennae,
hurry me away underground.
They have me.
In synecdoche I am theirs
to feed upon, to curse, to bless.