The honeypot ant stores its trove
in its abdomen, bloating, fat, swollen as if
to burst,
engorged like a water balloon
stuck to the faucet head,
distended with cornucopian liquid
until the workers gather round
in the winter months,
to feed from the golden stores
that they offered from their wages
to feed in their time of need,
like honeydew welfare,
feeding until the honeypotis
like a government in deficit
until the times of plenty return
and they distend again,
growing large, but not truly
stuffed by the workers once again
for the winter months that will return,
that will always return.

The caterpillar grubs along the
tree branch, crawling, toiling,
nibbling at the summer foliage,
working to weave a womb to
birth itself again,
to take to flight on beautiful wings
and vacation in sunnier climes
away from its former life of inch-by-inch
drudgery, to
drink nectar not unlike the gods,
but only if he is born on the right branch,
only if he is not eaten by birds, by
spiders, by wasps, by
consumed from within by parasitic worms,
and then, even if his metamorphosis
he can splatter across a chrome grill
on highways of speed and tech and
he could never have dreamed of.

But look at the dung beetle,
obsessed with his toil,
covetous of his dung, of his
stinking heaps as he
tiptoe-sprints like some absurd
or, perhaps, Atlas,
shoving the bowel-ball along its way
as if it is his own
he is a Prime Mover,
in a manner of speaking,
his whole world before him,
reeking with conceit, his conceits
rolled-up before him until he is
blind to all else but his
Randian preoccupation,
paranoid with his pretense
that his fecal ball
is the world itself.

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