Fire Ants on the Peonies

by Madeline Neway



In my cradle of veiny green  I am birthed into the saturation.  A tick of the little hand and I shed my skin like  A child’s discarding of her blanket.     From the decay I emerge  A brilliant, white puss moth.  Berkana cast onto the cloth,  The Birch Goddess takes my place.    Like the dodo  I am gifted two new limbs.  Soft and wet they arrive to my back  But their presence does not weigh heavy on me.     I am a lovely girl.     I eat death for dinner like a maggot  Growing stronger and fatter with each bite.  For the first time I am untouched and untainted:  I recognize this to be my final form.    The odor of my weak youth and purity, sickly sweet, invites them  To come swarming like fire ants on the peonies.  My dainty new limbs are the first to go  (They are not stupid).
In the heat of their presence I am lacking but  I bleed no blood and the absence soon becomes me.   Devour, divide, they recognize their power.  I have yet to take my first bath.    The things before me neither change nor shift  But present to me their truth: antireality permeates.  I am All and I am encased,  Isa ceases fire and I can be released.


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