© Gerard van Smirren

The Way Mommy Bear Eats a Swarm of Fire Ants

that my body grows uncontrollably large
that every time a wound appears I cut up a small piece of cloth to cover it
cut up and cover, cover again then
find myself covered with a quilt blanket over my head
my mommy told me never get under a quilt blanket
never learn to quilt
she told me as I patch and patch I’ll never get out of poverty
that I’m now walking like a bundled up garbage quilt
that at one point you used to eat me bite me control me
use me but now I’ve become a quiet
thing like a bundle of garbage
that I smell like a homeless person who has become one with a pull cart
that when kicked lightly by front paws, I’m like a deer, roe deer
that I’m so huge to the point of dying
that there is only me on the freeway scorched by sun
that there are only things that run away when they see me
like the enormous gray bear that sleeps while it walks
like the enormous black lace cloud fluttering above eyelids
like the dump truck leaking dribbles of oil in the middle of a desert
like the house with rotten stairs and six feet of dust collected in the ceiling
that there is no one except me standing all alone
that I’m getting larger and larger
as I’m chased, chased off the road
that I’m filled with all the screams of the world
that there is nothing else but that