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Kathryn Harmon

the world is ending and there are ants

they're under my skin or in my shoe or crawling across a metal table in a hilton doubletree in


and there are ants when i drive home walking around like everything is normal

i cannot tell what they are feeling or who they are because i can’t tell mouth from mandible from


there are ants where my friends should be and they work so i work and we do not talk and we

pretend that everything is normal

and the labyrinthine buildings i laughed in become ant farms as i realize how easy we are to


and i don't know if ants fear the crush of the shoe

i don't know if they imagine the impact, or the sound of their scream, or the contortion of their

limbs as they are shattered into bone splinters and gore

i don't know if ants imagine their own death at every stomach drop

i don't know how ants would react to seeing their friends corpses but suddenly there are piles of

ants i can imagine piles of ants at the edges of my sight and i can feel crawling up my legs and

my body divides into three like the songs they taught us in elementary school about the little

things dying under our feet because some things are just meant to be trampled like dreams and

optimism and ants

so yes, when you look at me, certain of my collapse, i can give you this primal, insectoid worry

about how close death hovers

i can offer you a glance at the looming specter above me, the black dog at my heels, the insects

spilling from my mouth

or i can do what we have always done and what we always will do and pretend that everything

is normal and step on ants

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