The Youngest Two Hear Cicadas

By Farnoosh Fathi b. 1981 Farnoosh Fathi
Tennessee: We are here, between trees,
with the tempo of a rosary being strung
in a queue of escalating beads—

Carolina: It’s not quite the count in
the countinghouse of my chest
but the heart does make an awful attempt

t: and a circle wherever it may be
there was music coming on

c: which though machinery-like
moves not in cogs, and never
springs, but waves through

t: like wired applause for antic backstage
buds on the pre-comeuppance buzz; but it

c: but only after the chorus has pulsed

t: it drops off with sudden decision, like fountain
water gone dross

c: or it reaches the furthest point
the branch turns from us, and is for some arc
fully quiet...

t: until the roulette snaps its jaw and the choir’s
circuit opens to one

c: like a pigeon unhinged, its wings
in sudden white-rumped ascent

t: unopposed by iridescence

c: unopposed by iridescence

Source: Poetry (November 2011).


This poem originally appeared in the November 2011 issue of Poetry magazine

November 2011
 Farnoosh  Fathi


Farnoosh Fathi was born in 1981 in Lafayette, Louisiana to Iranian parents. Raised in California, she attended Chadwick School and UCLA. She earned an MA from NYU and a PhD in creative writing and literature from the University of Houston. Her poems have appeared in Tin House, Boston Review, High Chair, Fence, and other journals. Her translations of poetry have appeared in Circumference and Jacket2, her interviews with poets can . . .

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SUBJECT Nature, Arts & Sciences, Music


Poetic Terms Free Verse

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