“But my words become stained with your love.
You occupy everything, you occupy everything.” -Pablo Neruda
I recall reading an excerpt from Proust once in which he was a traveler on a train going through the countryside. Looking out the window, he sees a woman hanging laundry on a line next to a house in the middle of nowhere. His mind reels away as he imagines an entire life together with her. I was riveted. Being young, naturally I thought only I did that sort of thing, and that perhaps there was something wrong with me because of it.
I was sitting at the table yesterday reading a wonderful book when an ant crawled up on my page. I shook the page and thought I had gotten rid of it. I turned to the next page and the ant was blithely walking across it again. I shook it again, and again he appeared on the next page.
Amore, in Ant
“Ant,” I said, “What are you doing?”
He continued his path
across my tome
I could. I could walk next to him
he’d tell me where to go
our antennae touching
We’d glide effortlessly across the words,
leaving our trail on the page before.
I’d look at him, for him.
Our bodies one,
beginning, middle and end.
“Ant, did you ever love me?”
No. Of course not.
I don’t really blame you.
My mouth along the edge
of the page,
the words blur
as I blow.
I guess I am not even the only one who finds myself talking to ants…
Enter without knocking, hard-working ant.
I’m just sitting here mulling over
What to do this dark, overcast day?
It was a night of the radio turned down low,
Fitful sleep, vague, troubling dreams.
I woke up lovesick and confused.
I thought I heard Estella in the garden singing
And some bird answering her,
But it was the rain. Dark tree tops swaying
And whispering. “Come to me my desire,”
I said. And she came to me by and by,
Her breath smelling of mint, her tongue
Wetting my cheek, and then she vanished.
Slowly day came, a gray streak of daylight
To bathe my hands and face in.
Hours passed, and then you crawled
Under the door, and stopped before me.
You visit the same tailors the mourners do,
Mr. Ant. I like the silence between us,
The quiet–that holy state even the rain
Knows about. Listen to her begin to fall,
As if with eyes closed,
Muting each drop in her wild-beating heart.
– Charles Simic