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  • “A colony of 40,000 ants has approximately the same number of brain cells as a single human being.”

    on the 25th june 2011 a SUV
    drove into the wall of the maternity ward
    of a hospital in azra district, afghanistan
    and detonated
    killing the driver and 35 others
    including at least 13 children

    on that same day the ants invaded our kitchen

    at first i vacuumed them, one by one
    and although this had the benefit of being both inexpensive and easy
    i could see that it was not going to be an effective strategy
    long term
    and so ducked under the kitchen sink for the large bottle of
    tesco thick
    citrus bleach

    on the fifth of july a roadside bomb
    and a car bomb
    exploded simultaneously outside a council building in taji, iraq
    35 people were killed

    i drenched the floor and surfaces with that stuff daily for a fortnight
    watched them squirm and thrash as the chlorine gas fused with the
    water in their cells forming an acid that burned them up from inside

    melting their hearts and minds

    over a two week period in july unmanned drone attacks killed 97 alleged militants
    in pakistan, afghanistan and yemen
    although the truth is that their actual status
    and identity
    is difficult to determine as the bodies are often
    dismembered and commingled,
    indistinguishable from each other or indeed
    any other
    cooked meat

    shortly afterwards they returned undaunted, thin black lines of them
    trickling in from the garden to the food cupboards
    and back

    500g of homebase ant killer sowed around the cracks in the flagstones, the doors and the windowsills
    and whenever i saw one i piled the white powder the
    high over its body like a young child on the beach
    burying dad in the sand

    in char china district, afghanistan, anti-government fighters told an
    8 year old girl
    to take a package to a police car and as she drew close
    remotely detonated the explosive device hidden within it

    they were dying i knew
    but not fast enough

    so i carefully planted 4
    ant stop bait stations, each containing food
    spiked with a poison that causes
    paralysis and death
    giving the ant time enough to take some of the bait food
    back to the colony, infect other ants who in turn infect others
    until the entire colony suffers
    paralysis and death and that
    i thought
    was that

    but last week
    my 6 year old daughter awoke screaming
    from a dream of being covered in them

    yesterday more than 20 bombs exploded in cities and towns across iraq
    killing 36

    and as I write this
    a single ant
    is advancing steadily
    across the table
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