Squirrels and Ants

When boys tread upon anthills it is Golgotha
all over again, the people run about like
ants who have sold their souls for a bite of apple.

When a dairymaid churns milk into sweet butter
Proserpine is tumbled into the land of death.
Winter and virginity are not quite opposites.

Before I knew poetry was written — not lived,
my beagle and I would chase grasshoppers for hours.
Now each day is a new Labor of Heracles.

After I first shaved, I hid in the closet.
I gave the razor blood sacrifice in my fear.
I had no one to guide my shaking hands.

When Prometheus gave men knowledge of fire,
they promptly forgot its wider consequences.
A squirrel often forgets where it hides the acorn.

Poems cannot be written by the innocent.
Cellar doors open only into the skyline.
Squirrels and ants burn like men.