The Apomorphy Poet. by Jim Zola

I draw tiny ants around the paper's edge,
ink colonies that turn white space

into black clouds. Others think I’m odd
so I oblige them, sketch spiders

with human faces, eyelashes and grins.
I turn in handwritten poems that go

on and on, creating a hierarchy
of arachnid heroes and villains.

They are afraid of me and snicker
when I read. One day I drop it all

to write about death, then love. I start
wearing socks that match. The girl who sits

in the row next to mine (always the same)
says hello, but only when we are in

the room, our den. I think about ants.
I draw a sexy dragonfly with her face.

Jim Zola has worked in a warehouse, as a security guard, in a bookstore, as a teacher for deaf children, as a toy designer for Fisher Price, and currently as a children's librarian. Published in many journals through the years, his publications include a chapbookThe One Hundred Bones of Weather (Blue Pitcher Press)—and a full length poetry collection—What Glorious Possibilities (Aldrich Press). He currently lives in Greensboro, NC