They aren't leaving the desktop,
I explain after careful scrutiny
of the ants, running a thick swarm
around the bottles, books, and pens.
I turn away, satisfied that they hold no secrets,
no invisible footpath to a forgotten sweet.
Instead, they traverse in the hot day
to the promise of a condensation ring
snug against the metal water bottle.
They don't yet know I swept up the water,
but they'll leave once all of them understand
there's nothing to find on the field of laminate.
Later, the desktop is dry and the ants are gone,
traveled outside through the opening I cannot find.