Each night when I go to sleep I become a termite. I am an ugly, shiny, pale thing in a colony full of other ugly, shiny, pale things.
I do the work of other termites. I am not very high up in the chain of command. I bite and I bite and I bite at the hard wood. It feels like I will lose my teeth. The other termites bark orders. I work harder. I want to quit but I will starve if I do.
When I wake up I have splinters in my teeth and stuck in my gums. My furniture is fucked. I’ve gone through eight tables this year. The people at the furniture store know me. I’m afraid they have figured it out.
I read a story about a guy who died And then people saw the work He’d toiled over his whole life. It was some kind of art And people marveled about How this quiet old man Had made such rich things And never told anybody.
It’s a story people like. We’re all clamoring for some recognition That what we do in our respective laboratories Somehow matters. Someday people will know what we made. If not in this life, The next.