Fresh: O Carolina, Kingdom of Ants by Jacob Borchardt

O Carolina, Kingdom of Ants

Here among us
many turn to drink

you can see it on our red faces
etched in spider lines
around our swollen lips and sunburnt eyes

many, many wastrels
we once supped our sins
reads the weathered writing

too dense for this place,
too torpid to breathe the thick, syrupy air
that hangs like a wet sheet
over yellow sand and ravenous orange clay

this, is a hungry land
we say to ourselves over clinking mounds of bottles

this is a hungry land

it sings its hunger in the tongue of locusts
the chanting of cicadas fresh molted,
the famished rustle of oak leaves
under corn-mudgeoning sun

and we, we are overfull
of all things which ache
and which aching, are eaten

yet we linger here
and cook like pit roasted pigs,

as slowly our choicest parts fall away

until little is left
but columns of red ants
marching across greasy bones
and broken glass

An archaeologist by day, Jacob Borchardt is fascinated by dreams, the occult and dead peoples’ garbage. Two of these themes are often featured in his work. When not pursuing these interests, Jacob is regularly seen walking a dog and talking to himself. What about, no one is sure.


If you are an emerging or unpublished poet, and would also like to submit work for a weekly Fresh spot (every Thursday), and/or put yourself forward for our monthly poetry profile Fresh: Featured, you can find out how right here.


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