That year cicadas found us in Silver Spring,
the concrete island where we stood marooned,
the closest we ever came to the swimming city.
I don’t remember the thrumming
amid horns honking and bulky men
hawking strawberries from their red truck.
I remember bugs flying past the few trees,
all with sharp leaves, through June’s
thick air, past the abortion clinic’s
barred windows and the sidewalk
where every Saturday girls from Holy Cross
shuffled past and mumbled entire rosaries.
Lying on the white wall-to-wall carpet,
listening to a young Annie Ross shriek
as if wings had grazed her bare shoulders,
we joked about eating cicadas.
We ate anything then: steak burritos,
lamb rogan josh, squid nigiri,
but cicadas on brown rice would save us.
We’d buy them at the corner store
from the man who gave me advice.
Curled up in one cell of the concrete island,
we imagined ourselves becoming them
having waited seventeen years to emerge
in this place and no other.