The End of Cicada Season

The End of Cicada Season
Fall 2019 – The Hill – The End of Cicada Season

The cicadas, the live ones, are somewhere high
with good acoustics and a cool view,
so that when they rub their wings together
and make a noise like Sprite
poured from green plastic at altitude,
hitting a Styrofoam bottom and
catching parted lips in webbed,
lemon-lime froth,
their songs come out fizzy
and expand like foam,
and all of this is done
to the rhythm of the sprinklers,
oscillating urgently on the
yellowing lawn,
since they can see them now,

and from all the way up there,
the air smells like burning toast
and allows them a kind of hypnosis,
so forgive them
for almost entirely forgetting
about how they literally
left their own skin,
an entire sculpture of their being, 
on a piece of bark
a few mornings earlier—
and I won’t get into the
what-kind-of-psycho-would-do-such-a-thing
portion of my feelings,
because I feel sure
that there are flakes
of my own skin (invisible
and not shaped into exact replicas
of my entire body and face, but still)
peppered about my apartment, and therefore—
Who am I to judge?

So instead I’ll just urge you
to consider (in horror, as I am)
that as we speak
there are corpses (dismembered!?
pulverized!? partially eaten by someone
even sicker
than the sicko
who left it there!?
Who’s to say!?)
crisping over like
nature’s pork rinds,
fixed against the
reddening tree-scape,
Their tiny bodies are foreclosed
and abandoned and stuck on
snaking drizzles of sap,
and perhaps if their skeletons,
shells of themselves,
were to have grown
anymore brittle;
or if their rib cages,
or whatever it is
that makes for their hard
and curved bellies,
were to have receded
anymore inwards,
you might’ve missed them,
not unlike their shiny, new forms

which look on from above
as asters bake in a flower bed
and zinnias brown in the sun
and some version of themselves
is being memorialized
in hot amber
not so far away

Published December 2019