At the end of the tube, there is an ant
climbing slowly toward my window
as I descend, I descend carefully on a straw
into the garden.
The ant climbs onto the anthill,
and I descend into the underground dungeons of the Egyptians,
through pipes clogged
with clotted blood
and dinosaur bones,
through the hungry train stations of the earth,
until I reach the digestive tubes of the worms.
They are the same worms
four billion years old, but fatter.
Nothing has changed. The ant waits
for ten minutes in front of my window,
inside the room with the light off,
holding a fly catcher in its hands.
We don’t have mosquito nets installed yet,
and she takes care not to let in any insect from the garden
while the room gets some fresh air.
A few nights ago, there was a big bug
we tried for an hour to catch and throw outside.
Tonight, I look into the dark for ten minutes,
ready to kill any bug or cry for help,
ready to kill even the ant that comes through the window.
I am that ant.
I sit in the dark
blending into the black, greasy earth.
I look up and see myself breathing slowly with the wind.
A strong perfume of flowering tobacco comes in
and I can hear crickets.
Born on October 15, 1974, in Aiud, Romania, Adina Dabija writes poems and plays. Her first book, Poezia-papusa (The Barbie Poem, Cartea Româneasca, 1997), was awarded the Bucharest Writers Association Guild Prize. Her second book, Stare Nediferentiata (An Undifferentiated State, Brumar Publishing House, 2006), was distinguished with the Tomis Award. She lives in New York, where she practices Oriental medicine.
Claudia Serea is a Romanian-born poet who immigrated to the U.S. in 1995. Her poems and translations have appeared in 5 a.m., Ascent, Word Riot, Meridian, Mudfish, Harpur Palate, Exquisite Corpse, The Fourth River, Ezra, Zoland Poetry, The Dirty Goat, Cutthroat, and many others.