Tuesday, September 10, 2002
Dog Day Cicadas

Sometimes a
Cicada comes to my front porch and circles, dizzyingly, around the light like a Tilt-A-Whirl ride in a parking lot carnival. They are so big and clumsy, and they bash up against the sides of the house, or the porch ceiling, making brittle smashing sounds when their bodies impact. There is a rattling clamor of mechanical wings, as if they were berserk mechanical toys, and sometimes a violently scraping buzz when they land on their backs and can't seem to right themselves. The cicadas here lately are army-tank green, with black markings and black eyes set far apart on each side of their head. I guess they're known as Dog Day Cicadas because they come at the end of summer. One night I helped one right itself, and when I held it on my hand and looked at it under the porch light, its lacy black wings glittered as I tilted it back and forth. Sometimes there is a ribbed ecru husk, with an opening split neatly on the back just underneath the head clinging to a window, a leaf, or a brick. It's a perfect cast likeness . . . down to the slender, pincered feet and the tiny bulging eyes. At night I can hear them crashing into the windowpane with a soft metallic plink blurred with a rasping buzz. It makes the cats sit up and tilt their ears to and fro.
Posted by Artichoke Heart | 9:32 PM |
E-mail Artichoke Heart

Books by Artichoke Heart
Beyond Heart Mountain
Year of the Snake

Poems by Artichoke Heart
Songs for a Rainy Season
Toothpick Warriors
Snake Wife
Happy Hour
Girl With A Bowl On Her Head

Pillow Book Courtiers Of The
East Wing
Blogroll Me!

Pillow Book Courtiers Of The
West Wing
Blogroll Me!

Acknowledgments and Buttons

Oral Sex Donations Accepted