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Damen O'Brien

Cicadas are testifying

like industrial sprinklers

spitting and spluttering

over a field, like a host

of maracas, the scaly rattles

of a million snakes, hissing

susurrus of a thousand beach-

goers squeaking through

the wave-pressed sand.

They’re back on their pulpits

buzzing defiance, reading

from their little books of

revelation, cavilling about

their seven years in the desert,

each advising on our doom,

reciting out the necessary

instructions, the righteous

commandments, in the sharp

claws of the scrub, every

cicada is certain of its truth,

proselytising with the

fiery conviction of sinners.

One amongst the hidden

speakers is certainly correct

and true, one has found the

shortest path to the windy

ledge which pilgrims take,

the wilted forest turns

its leaves, to listen to their

loud confessions.

We look for signs of rain,

but it is just the cicadas

shouting over each other

with their separate inspirations

making a solid static, in the

broad church of the trees.

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