The Youngest Two Hear Cicadas

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

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