3p Home Page The Threepenny Review
Spring 2005

To an Ant Fallen in the Salt Shaker

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I too have mistaken it
for sugar: the bright blizzards

are similarly blinding, inviting,
and once you have

an ache for nectar
turning back is hard.

But there's one rule to follow:
if a dozen easy portals seem

to lead to pure confection,
if the way in

to sweetness seems direct
and seamless, beware. The lair

of sugar is heavy-lidded, is protected.
You must rely on someone

other than yourself
to unlock that fort.

At least this is what I have found.
Which is not to say that had

you ended in the bowl
and not the shaker you would

not otherwise have drowned.
You would have.

But the aftertaste is long
and might have been less stinging.

—Andrea Cohen

Andrea Cohen is the author of The Cartographer’s Vacation. She lives in Charlestown, Massachusetts.

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