This early wet spring, small black ants visited
my house. I stood above them spraying toxins
as they waddled over the door sill into my bathroom.

Those that made it, died in the white as I sprayed
them again. Unlike the Marines, they left their
dead where they fell―no esprit de corps here.

Years ago, I lived in an East Village apartment on
the top floor. It was infested with mice. At night,
they would wake me as they paraded

within the walls as if it were St. Patrick’s Day.
I adopted a cat, assured that she was a seasoned
mouser. When the tumult started in the walls,

she would follow them jumping on her hind legs
while making grotesque spitting sounds. When one
exited from the wall she pounced, it screamed weakly

already knowing its fate. She would take the mouse
in her mouth into the bathroom, dropping it in the tub.
She and the mouse knew the trap even as it tried to run

up the sides. She walked the top of the tub taunting it as the
mouse screamed and shuddered until it died. Then she jumped
into the tub retrieved the mouse and brought it to me.