Ian Hutchinson


It’s the Armageddon
of sound, for me…Triassic fireworks
spewing from the ground, buzzing like cables
ripped from a pole in a thunderstorm. The brood
before last I was seventeen: all spit
and no fire, busy tending
my wounds. As they worked
their way to the surface
through feet of dirt, I toiled
at the mirror—studied the webs
between my fingers, bespectacled orbs
blinking back at me. I longed to be ripped
from my skin like a creature
escaping its molted bones; prayed
for my shame to become a spring
jacket one might simply unzip
and remove. And the brood
before that, I was fresh
from the womb…if they were out there
butchering maples, I didn’t notice.
But in this year of homebound
mothering; the constant spinning
in place like a recluse
spider…oh, I pined
for those lost shells clinging
to the porch steps…little ghosts
scattered in the yard. I wanted to happen
upon one, crouch down and trace
with the tip of my finger the sudden split
where the being erupted—a nymph
no longer——hellbent
on sapling slaughter (really,
they don’t mean to plunder
the tender branches, they just need
a place to abandon
their eggs…just for a moment…one
prized moment…not noticing the leaves
have turned to brown fluttering
flags of defeat). Either way they leave us,
screaming, fucking, dying
quickly as we cover our ears, eyes
to the sky—desperate, now, to sneak
cicadas into every poem.


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