I watch ants swarm about on the sidewalk
locked in mathematical fury,
a maze of imperatives
wobbling around a chicken bone
nearly as thin as their legs.
From my eyes, fifty-eight
inches away, the bone looks picked pretty clean,
shines like a stick pin of pearl,
but there must be some treasure
I cannot see, some miniscule morsel of gristle,
some scrap of sun-baked fat.
We all have our reasons for living.
I step up to the bus
and hear a soft crack--
feel it more than I hear it--
look under my heel, see marrow
and something like feathers,
waving in a breeze
I hadn't even noticed.
Next morning, I step off the Olive,
pull my name tag out of my purse
as the ants climb around inside the bone
scaling those brittle, arid canyons,
in search of oases of grease.