because the dark is the only time
the heat is breathable, we walk.
it’s what we share: restlessness
past discomfort, feet like old
leather. past the cicada tree
so loud it spooks the dog, leaves
me light tongued and ringing.
a man yells from a passing
suv, his voice swallowed
by this summer-gone-sour.
i am almost thankful for his
practiced flattery but mostly
made to feel thin cotton
sucking at skin, sweat
in tributaries down my stomach,
outline of my tits dark
with wet. i wish i wasn’t so quiet
with my body, that i could rub
myself together and scream.
cicadas’ singing is a series of ribs
buckling in on themselves, clicking
as they cave. i suppose my body
makes sounds in its collapse.
sounds no one would call
song. if it isn’t about loneliness
it’s a lie. i am walking because
i want to, because the dog needs
a little extra attention today
is a lie. the glossy insects live
underground sucking at roots
and wriggling unglamorously
for seventeen years. then:
one supreme month under only
streetlights, risen from the dirt
to die. a strange instinct: to die
in the open. i wonder if it’s worth