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April 13, 2023


Sarp Sozdinler

As a kid, I looked after an ant colony that smelled like crocodiles.

They started each day by filing in from one end of the circuit

and called it a night after tearing each other’s legs off.


My first husband, who was missing a heart, once told me

that I, too, must be an animal of prey in one of my past lives.

He was a Gemini and that was part of why it didn’t work out

between the two of us, what with me being a Pisces

who ascended into Leo territory once past twenty-nine.


For my upcoming thirtieth birthday, I’m still in two minds

about whether I should move back to Seattle

or save the potential costs for a secondhand car instead.

My sister tells me the city hasn’t been the same since Cobain died

and that she’s still grieving him through decades-old posters

and paraphernalia she scoops from eBay.


These days I light firecrackers to ward off sleep at night

and fantasize about my future deaths while observing the Midwest sky.

Since I quit my MFA, I have started to build bombs at home,

make computers smart enough to compose the Ninth Symphony at work,

but I can’t still figure out how to bike back hands-free.


I sometimes think ending things can be as much of an option

for all of us as it is for dolphins and killer whales,

or maybe even Cobain and my first husband too

—or my mother in her last days.


Unlike her, I often get along better with animals than plants,

but when the times are rough I get to eat them all.

According to my doctor, I should have gone veggie long ago

but he never told me how in this economy.

I have lost one mortgage over the past decade

and those marital shoeboxes I had to twice call home.


I still believe my luck will one day turn.

The ants nod agreeably at my feet.