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by Keetje Kuipers

NELLE 1 | 2018

Joel’s here to check the termite stations
buried in our yard like time capsules,

to spray the sills with poison fine
as perfume wafting from a lady’s wrist

and sprinkle grains of acid over ant hills
risen like cupcakes from the edges of the drive.

Joel doesn’t wear gloves, a mask—just dons
a smile before he asks if we’d like the lawn

blanket-sprayed for mosquitoes. It’s a job
I hate myself for paying him to do. And when

we bring this world to its sure end, what, I wonder,
is the best that I can hope for then? An afternoon

not unlike this: palmetto bugs testing the air
with their antenna, waiting to see what comes next.

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