A journal of art + literature engaging with nature, culture, the environment & ecology

The Ant Queen

Suhit Kelkar, India

With my own jaws,
I chewed off my wings.

They nourished me till
my first eggs were laid.

Now, as the pulsing heart
of pullulation,

I fill chamber after chamber
with generations emanating

like concentric ripples
from the bindu* of my body.

The urge to multiply
is heady and fulfilling,

and my destiny besides,
or at least, seems to be.

Sometimes, I feel
a fluttering at my back.

Having sold the sky
for the sake of my race,

if I dream of lost flight,
what of it?

*In Indian philosophy, bindu is considered the point from which the universe originates.

Suhit Kelkar is a magazine editor who lives and works in Mumbai, India. His journalistic work has been published by various Indian and international publications such as Caravan, Open, Al Jazeera Online, and Gulf News' Friday Magazine. His haiku have appeared in The Heron's Nest, the Asahi Haikuist Network, and Naad Anunaad: An Anthology of Contemporary World Haiku. His poetry and prose have appeared in Vayavya, Elsewhere Lit, The Bombay Literary Magazine, and elsewhere. His poetry chapbook entitled The Centaur Chronicles (2018) deals with themes of otherness and exclusion.


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