Two Poems

Flower Petals and Ant Piles

by Jasmin Lankford I’m standing in an ant pile. I didn’t realize I planted my roots here.
Sometimes, it’s hard to really feel the hurt until after a few bites.

But the first drop of blood that leaves my body rejoices. Hallelujah.
This is worship before the sermon & my tears don’t wait for amen.

I didn’t understand how the ant bites infected me until I itched them.
An addictive pain, a smile, a scream, & a praise. My body isn’t numb

just yet, my petals can still bloom after the blood if I apply ointment
to my wounds like communion. Blessings. But I’ve forgotten how to pray,

how to ask for forgiveness, how to forgive. So I let the ants bite again,
tell my body she deserves the hurt for believing her flower was supposed

to do anything other than wilt. This is more than pruning, it’s a promise.
A photosynthesis cycle without a sabbath. The colony come for me.

I don’t try to uproot my stems, I stay. Ask him for the verse, hope
to understand its hidden meaning, hope to still see God in him, in me,
in life. Hope to leave before the benediction.

Jasmin Lankford is a poet, cat mom, and world wanderer native to Florida. She graduated from the University of South Florida with a degree in Communications. Once upon a time, she studied Creative Writing in Paris. Her work has been published in Honey & Lime Literary Magazine, Kissing Dynamite, and Ink & Nebula. For more information, visit