A cicada’s tone poem
repeats until it becomes inaudible.
Converted, unconscious, becomes time itself
texturing the ear canal, lending heft to the air.
Out of sight, the seven-year sentient jewelry
is out of reach. Cicada speaks in cycles.
Cicada’s voice pronounces onomatopoeia for
time’s passage, for time underground,
for knowing the season and counting years.
Onomatopoeia for concentration.
Whereas myself, human, recalls what year, remembers how many;
the cicada counts the years as they happen,
time being the only sensation,
is the only topic of thought.
Cicada: a language by which every verb and adjective
is derived from the feeling of time passing.
The rise and fall of their hum sounds like a rhythm of silences
divided by the audible breath.
Terry Trowbridge’s poems have appeared in The New Quarterly, Carousel, subTerrain, paperplates, The Dalhousie Review, untethered, Quail Bell, The Nashwaak Review, Orbis, Snakeskin Poetry, M58, CV2, Brittle Star, Bombfire, American Mathematical Monthly, The Academy of Heart and Mind, Canadian Woman Studies, The Mathematical Intelligencer, The Canadian Journal of Family and Youth, The Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, The Beatnik Cowboy, Borderless, Literary Veganism, and more. His lit crit has appeared in Ariel, Hamilton Arts & Letters, Episteme, Studies in Social Justice, Rampike, and The /t3mz/ Review.