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Ant Killer


My baby is nearly dead. There are infections in him or waiting for him. I have seen them or sensed them or watched them on TV. So, I wash most things. But there is not a ton of time in one day. Recycled plastic is just as bad as one-use plastic? I lovingly separate the recycling from the trash, the trash from the compost. Brand name is better than not brand name when it comes to garbage bags, so they say, so I grip the heavy garbage bag and carry its scented weight over the threshold. The big, hungry, cannibal can is waiting for it (it’s made of plastic, too), and I imagine how I must look to the trash inside the can—like Alice looking down the hole, just before she fell. So, there are infections (resistant to antibiotics, goddamn them) and plastic and pollution and infected meat and souped-up vegetables and everything the baby touches changes the chemistry of his brain. “Is anyone thinking straight anymore?” my mother asks, as she squats down and liberally applies ant killer in a hot, steaming spray to a soft pile of ant hill, just inches away from where my baby sits in the grass, chewing on his fingers unwittingly.