The secretions beneath the oaks speckles the windows, lades a syrupy glaze on the stairs and grasses. The exterminator comes and sprays at the base of nearby trees to get at the ants, which are built angular as saw teeth, muscled as sand paper, as they go about their deconstructing ways. The ants and the oaks have had a long affair – the work of love must be lured and sweetened, a home provided within the folds of mossened bark, in exchange, there’s the business of pollination and excavation, and eventually, all of it, broken down to splinters. These perimeters we put in place. What to take and what to leave? Each day, my heart is stronger tending the sugary borders, the poison lines.