"What It's Like to Be an Ant" and "Female Anatomy"

What It’s Like to Be an Ant

Your life does not matter
to the creatures in charge.
You dwell beneath a fragile hill,
easily smashed on a whim.
The shadow of a giant boot
looms everyday over your body
as you carry fifty times your weight.



Female Anatomy

Mayo Clinic says
a woman has a shorter urethra
than a man, giving bacteria
a quicker trip to the bladder.
Most women in my era recognize
the symptoms, call a doctor, fix
the problem by the next day.
But what about the century before mine?
When a pale yellow stream turning red
could not be so easily reversed
by pills in a bottle?
Swallowing my second dose,
pain subsiding, I ponder
what it was like to live without
penicillin in a world where
women and their anatomy
were even more vulnerable
than they are today.



Jacqueline Jules

Jacqueline Jules is the author of Manna in the Morning (Kelsay Books, 2021) and Itzhak Perlman's Broken String, winner of the 2016 Helen Kay Chapbook Prize from Evening Street Press. Her poetry has appeared in over 100 publications including The Sunlight Press, Gyroscope Review, and One Art. She is also the author of two poetry books for young readers, Tag Your Dreams: Poems of Play and Persistence. (Albert Whitman, 2020) and Smoke at the Pentagon: Poems to Remember (Bushel & Peck, 2023). Visit her online at www.jacquelinejules.com.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Monday, August 21, 2023 - 11:21