Cicadas by Chelsea Henderson

It darkens. The sun drowns in the horizon
and never resurfaces, leaving us to our hands
and lips beneath a charcoaled sketch of sky.
Azaleas in white for the occasion,
wine humming in our glasses whenever the wind
casts a careless hand. For the versions of each other
we can’t understand, we offer small mercies—
a moon in full bloom, the hollows
of your cheekbones pooled in darkness,
bread crumbs littered in the grass like dew.
Lilac, you say, when the rain begins,
my hair washed in the scent of it. Cicadas,
I tell you, while they drone in the trees,
remembering a wreath I once saw wound
with their brittle skins, their bodies emptied
at last of longing. Somewhere a pair
of sleepless hands meets piano keys, strains
of Debussy ribboning out the open window.
No one makes any promises. April edges quietly
back the way it came, petal and skin and thirst
in its wake, ear pressed to its own vanishing.

Image by: Paximius