“Cicada variations” by Molly Weigel

Grackle in the damp grass dipping and straightening
surely wet with dew by now too due process
as the peas struggle upward in a slow race against the heat.
The 17-year cicadas are awakening from their larval slumber and
crawling out of the ground.  I want to be visited
by a plague—a rushing of wings, a crush
of husks and bodies.  Pets can get sick
from eating too many, the newspaper says.
People are writing cicada cookbooks, as if
witnessing the excess is not enough,
we need to be a part of it, bits of wings dribbling
from the corners of our mouths as we crunch,
and crunch, and crunch—a bonanza for birds,
they say—as if we mark out our lives by
cicadas.  By emergence of the long dormant
from out of the ground, awaking to split open and push
toward life and love.  17 years back, I was young,
and did not know it; and now, having slumbered along
the running tracks of time, I rub my eyes
in wonder—ready to fling myself with relish
into an orgy of the numerous.  Be body on body, expendable,
miraculous.  There is nothing to worry about,
and nothing to do but wait for them to pass.







Molly Weigel‘s translation of Jorge Santiago Perednik’s Shock of the Lenders and Other Poems received the 2013 PEN Poetry in Translation Prize and her translation of Oliverio Girondo’s In the Moremarrow was shortlisted for the 2014 BTBA (both published by Action Books). She has published poems in Burning House Press, EOAGH!, and The Volta (They Will Sew the Blue Sail); translations in Burning House Press, West Branch, and Mantis; and critical essays in The Volta and Jacket 2, among others.

June 14th, 2021|
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