Some days, what I remember still
Surprises me. Last year in late
May, the cicadas showed up shrill,
Their ceaseless organs airing Mate,
No, mate with me. They titillate
Me even now, high-pitched, in the drum-
ming crickets’ moves to copulate
In the meantime. What I become
Sitting next to a windowsill,
Duvet-cocooned, isn’t innate.
It’s born with time, baring an ill-
Fated notion: long days will wait
Like hyacinths, then germinate
To more. Then I’m living the sum
Of moments while I calculate
In the mean. Time, what you become
Is my perpetual motion, nil
Personified in pulses, pate,
Undulations of fever, chill.
The body makes me salivate.
I wonder can they masturbate,
The nymph cicadas, can they hum
Interred in dirt? They hibernate.
In the meantime what I become
Are wakeful tries to imitate
Their sleep. Spring mimics menstruum.
Un-endings thrive, and still I hate
What, in the meantime, I’ve become.
Erica Dawson is the author of two books of poetry: The Small Blades Hurt (Measure Press, 2014) and Big-Eyed Afraid (Waywiser, 2007). Her poems have appeared in Best American Poetry, Barrow Street, Harvard Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and other journals and anthologies. She lives in FL, where she's an Assistant Professor of English and Writing at The University of Tampa, and teaches in both the undergraduate and low-residency MFA programs.