Ani Keaten

Fiveheart (Parnassus)

My poem “Fiveheart” about worms after rain was originally published in Parnassus in Spring 2010. This poem is reprinted here.


The worms populate the
sidewalk when it rains.

       When people are under
       showerheads in dark houses.

After the rain,
Before sun-up,
the worms are synchronized

The worms stretch out quiet,
toward high ground—
nonporous ground.

They communicate to each other
stripes on cement
each end equally a tail and a head.

And the people invade

the worm art is disfigured.
Those not pasted are split,
anticipating coming bikes.

And the halves ask the halves:
a better death than drowning?
a better death than drying in the sun?