How To Find Yourself

by Olivia Swasey

First, be an anthill.

Observe yourself from

outside, see your

body with its gentle

slopes, and find the

entrance to yourself,

find it teeming with

insects coming and going.

Second, take all your

jewelry, melt it down,

your gold, your rhodium,

sterling silver, all that you

have collected to

adorn yourself.

Put it all in the crucible.

Third, and most important,

you must open your mouth.

Swallow the red-hot metal,

feel it travel down into you,

through the little dug

corridors and dens inside,

and then let it cool.

Last, you must extract

this new model, the shape

of the inside of you,

and examine it, finding

the parts of you that were

hidden beneath the sand,

and understand what they mean.

And now your secret self

is visible at last, and you can

finally understand those

wordless parts of you.

But all the ants are dead.

Olivia Swasey is a writer and poet from Cleveland, Ohio. A graduate of Kent State University, she holds a BA in English. Olivia is a passionate advocate for LGBT and women's rights, and is active in her Jewish community. She has been previously published in Luna Negra Magazine and Brainchild Magazine, and has works forthcoming in Breath & Shadow, Sinister Wisdom, and Poetica Magazine's Mizmor Anthology.

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September 2019

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