Ross E. Lockart


Red brick, white mortar. The wall is chipped the most at the bottom, but as my eyes ascend, the wall becomes more pure, more refined, unbroken. I reach out, stroke the solid cement surface, explore a groove with a fingertip. I notice the stains, the tar a foot from the ground. Another foot up and three over, a piece of gum is pressed into a crevice. The marks are heaviest at the base.

I am smaller now, an ant ascending the stone surface. At first I crawl along the ground, but then my world turns ninety degrees. Each crater, each mark is an alien battleground, a mountaintop, a valley. I climb, the mountains become less challenging, the valleys shallower. I march a mile, two, three. The surface transitions from rocky hell to smooth paradise. I reach the top, look back down at the ground Iíve covered.

An ant crawls onto my fingertip. I bring him up close to my face; try to look into his faceted eyes. He waves his antenna, tries to communicate with the giant. I stretch out, stand on my toes, reach as high as I can. The ant crawls off my finger, miles closer to his goal.