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  • April Flash Contest: Letting Go

    Welcome to our very first Flash Contest! We’ll be running these quick mini-challenges frequently, so keep an eye on this page.

    For this round, our theme is letting go. Here are some guidelines:

    • Write a poem of no more than 10 lines (it can be less, if you want).
    • Interpret the theme however you like! If it’s important to you, it’s important to us.
    • Submissions are due by midnight on April 12, 2018.
    • Our favorite submission will be fully designed and published in CICADA.
    • Flash Contests are only open to CICADA members ages 14-21.

    Time is short, so get writing!



    By stormy819, in "Letting Go",

    The spring jumps for 
    Joy, she is here
    Here to play
    Warmth spreads like
    Wildfire, butterflies dance
    Upon the air all around us
    The night air just as warm 
    Fireflies dance around 
    Dazzling with their glow.

    The thunder broke when her voice rang out over the waves.
    It split in to
    a thousand shattered pieces that fell away into the ocean,
    where the they lay in the waves that lapped,
    pulling them into the deep, dark depths to hold them close. 
    She wished to hold them close, 
    instead, she wept.
    She cried until the sea was filled with sound. 
    The water swam silver with fragments of lightening that had broken and caught in the rumbling that had drifted into the waves. 
    She wished to swim in it, 
    the water shot through with silver and sound. 
    She walked to the edge of the cliff, her steps leading her out over it’s edge but still she walked. 
                                                             s     k         y
    where her voice no longer shattered the thunder, but broke it about her aching body.
    The sea beneath her held the remnants of a storm she had scattered in her fury
    and sadness,
    and as the thunder broke around her,
    it’s anger began to shatter her furthermore.
    She fell in to
    a thousand shattered pieces,
    the pieces falling into the sea,
                                                               n    o       t        h           i               n             g…

    i open my red, red mouth & from it sprouts a garden of poppies and golden pears, a thing made to beg: stay, stay, stay. pull me safe through the winter, palms laid out across the fragile frostburned petals running tearlike into my eyes and sticking. my vocal cords thrum. & the winter persists, & you stay chilly, & once i wake up to you kissing me, careful as you pour poppyseeds into my voice box, pretending this opium won't flood my veins with sweet tar, pretending you never knew this need to be needed. i spit you out, & sugared pears follow. i vomit false summer, & winter ends. i dice you into soil & my garden flourishes. im wine-drunk & boundless, worshiping anything i can taste.

    Sometimes I think you’re like the fireflies
    My friends and I caught on summer evenings
    When we were barely old enough to speak. 
    There was always something wild and strange 
    About holding a living, ethereal glow in our hands.
    I taught them to flatten their palms,
    Let the lightning bugs alight on little fingers
    Before flitting away into the night air. 
    When you flew away too, I held my hands open.
    I wonder, now, if I should have cupped them closed.