by: Danielle Lea Buchanan

There is $345,000 worth of termite damage between my thighs. It all started with the Queen. The Queen crawled into my damp, dark place of chronic leaks. The Queen confused my vagina with an anthill. She laid her eggs. I felt them hatch. Then the Queen’s colonies fed on my ovaries as if they were dead plants. Bit into my lungs like leaf litter. Chewed the wallpaper of my stomach lining. My spine collapsed fast as a teethed wooden staircase. I don’t know what to do. I am pregnant. My eggs sprout through my body. I fear the Queen will eat holes in my crop. I called pest control. They said to dust my ribcage with insecticide. To mist my coccyx with arsenic. If that doesn’t work, I must feed the Queen. She’ll take whatever I give her back to the nest and spread it to the colony. At night, I lay in bed with woodchips soaked in gasoline. I stick them up my damp, dark place. I’ve began tapping my thighs with the handle of a screwdriver. There’s the hollow sound of damaged wood. My skin warps. Pest control says to caulk my crawl space. I get a gallon of wet cement and a putty knife from the hardware store. I spread my legs.