The Last Cicada

Just west of eden’s garden I laid to rest
the cicada’s shell, listened to the hollow rattling

of wind through exoskeleton while vines strangled
the porcelain skin of my mother’s poppy

flowers after sicarios made her chest bloom
as those violent carnations do

when they fall from ends of cigarettes,
molten embers sinking deeper

into her skin as a meal for worms burrowed
beneath the right atrium of that sun-kissed

place caressed by pine trees and crushed
needles against smoothed bark

I wonder when the cicadas will return.

Kyra Ungerleider studied Neuroscience and Creative Writing at The Ohio State University. She is now living in the United Kingdom, where she attends the University of Cambridge for her PhD in Neuroscience.

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