That we are always home
that it is always sacred ground
that what we do is nature’s way
we need not run into the hills
as ants and termites make their cities
we, too, dwell together.
there is an urban ant network
along the south coast of spain
for 4000 kilometers, i read
there is a pax formica
peace among the ants
and trade, travel, intermarriage
scientists surmised this
on evidence of experiment-
take an ant from one hill, place it in another
and that ant will be killed as an invader
unless there is a passport – chemical, they suppose –
by which the hosts recognise the newcomer
belonging. according to this, 4000 kilometers
of anthills are all one urban network, one
ant city state, one empire. all along the coast
they can mix strange ants and the hosts will accept them.
the traveller is always home.
what is this chemical? how does it so often elude us?