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I Captured a Flying Ant

by Brenton Rossow


I captured a flying ant

beside a puddle

and grabbed him by the wings


he became furious;

head swiveling in all directions

… but it was futile;

I had him pinned

and there was nothing

he could do


when I got home

I put him in a cardboard box

with my guitar plectrums

and took a long hot shower


half an hour later

I was ready to study him,

opened the box

and saw a mad fool

with an emerald abdomen

racing about like a bald man

in a lonely dressing room

his brown veiny wings

had detached from his body

and his frantic antenna

moved up and down

like the sick hands

of a tortured sea creature


I shook him free

and one of his wings

fluttered onto my foot



then he raced off

and hid behind

a pot plant


a few hours later

I went outside

to get some air,

and found him lying

on his back

barely moving


was he dying

because of me?


I only took him home

because I was lonely

and wanted

to get inside his head


I even harbored naive notions

we could come to

some sort of understanding


but now things had gone bad

and he was belly-up

on the balcony


it seemed horrible

he should die alone

with a stranger staring at him,

so I walked

back inside

and fixed myself

a sandwich