Albert Abonado

A Colony of Ants Attack My Wrist
and I Just Let Them



Because I am babysmooth and in my thirties and their teeth is a parade because they want to

praise the labor of one another and because they tongue the smallest hairs to find honey and

because I do not tell them that what they feed their children is mostly terror and sin because I am

fat from doughnuts and poorly shot pornography and because I want other marks besides ones

that suggest I am always falling because I believe in the hickey and any bruise that comes from

the lips because I am bread and space and because I respect the size of any hunger because I can

be terrifying and generous and offer blood to the small and the living because one day I will be a

cathedral and I will have glass instead of skin and everyone will see who is praying and who is

asleep because maybe the sermon could have been punchier or used more sugar but everyone

knows the priest means well and makes great coffee and pastries and once adopted a really sick

dog, which he lets everyone pet, which we all agree is something worth saving.

Self-Portrait as a Wisdom Tooth



If this is proof that I have become

something other than myself, more

than a stone that crowds close

to the throat and its clot

of obscenities, a point furthest

from a kiss, leaving the jaw afraid

to clamp down on any sweetness,

to bend or grind meat into salt,

then let the head shatter each time

I collide against myself, recoil from

my ghostly hum. I do not own

the blood that passes beneath

me, but I threaten its alignment,

the mouth and its horoscope, root

every thread of gossip. Let me carry into

the brain a new wilderness, deer

that shed their antlers in inconvenient

fields. I know that the skull

possesses its own starlight.

I know what poisons permit some

to sleep, that rot can be the same

word for sugar, that extraction

means to break without apology,

to say you were never meant

to be in this place.


Writer Albert Abonado author photo

ALBERT ABONADO is the Director of Adult Programs at Writers & Book, and teaches creative writing at SUNY Geneseo. He has received a NYFA Fellowship for Poetry. He is the author of the chapbook This is Superbook (H_NGM_N Books). His poems have appeared in Big Lucks, The Margins, Pleiades, Waxwing, Zone 3 and others. He is the host of the poetry radio show Flour City Yawp. He lives in Rochester with his wife and a hamster.