- It’s time to say goodbye—the community at cicadamag.com is now closed. Learn more...
Hello, CICADA Readers!
CICADA can be smart, funny, weird, hopeful, dark, defiant—it’s a space where teens can see their truths explored and celebrated. We frequently publish teens’ work, as well as fiction, poetry, comics, zines, and interviews by a variety of established writers and artists. CICADA is an intersectional, LGBTQAI+ friendly publication that strives to ensure that teens see their authentic experience reflected on its pages.
i am walking through the carcass of a whale
there are great bones around me, massive ribcage—
they are towers, or bars, or the walls of a home.
is there marrow within them? or poetry?
i thought the whale would fade after beaching but it did not—
when it did i thought it would wither.
perhaps it did, but the carcass remains;
i am walking through the carcass of a whale and wondering how long before the wind carves the bones to dust.
farewell to the orange sky. farewell to the cicada call in the summer evenings.
food is still good past its expiration date and
sometimes daylight clings beyond the setting sun
but when the midnight comes,
will it bring waves to cleanse the beach?
when i return come morning, will the whale be gone?
i whisper poetry to the inside of a whale carcass and wonder how long i have left.
((AN: there's a weird, half-life atmosphere to the slam now. it's like all the rats abandoned ship but the ship hasn't sunk yet. the slam was supposed to go down but it's still here and it's like walking through purgatory. it's like it's here but it isn't and i'm hurting to see how long it will last.))
you leave suddenly
like a brick pulling out from beneath me
didn't realize how this would feel
i followed my life like i follow stories
until i snapped back to reality
at the very end of it
and it's harder when pain hits
all at once.
i have grown used to you
building me up,
making me laugh
when i couldn't breathe,
you made that feeling better
texts coming in a couple times a day
even if i don't have the time to make my responses do
much more than suck,
didn't know how to fathom the way you would
i wobble as my world
like a jenga tower with
one brick pulled out
i did not realize how it would feel to be left
reaching for something beyond your emptiness
you made me feel tall
beautiful, happy, loved
did you intend to do that?
should not have called this happiness mine because you gave it to
all of this never could have happened if you hadn't
built me up
i wish i could have thanked you
found true, constant words for what you mean
i felt the void of your shape
stable and aching
unfillable by anything but what is past out the window
wish something could take me back to memories
that some days
i just want to bury myself in
face a shaky present
before we the part was final
i became highly acquainted with memory
i think love is not just noticing when something is there
but feeling all the moments when
it is gone
because you meant something
something i stood upon.
This is for a lot of people, but part of this is about Cicada closing down.
I know I haven't been posting long, but thank you Cicada for giving me a place to post my writing where people I don't even know can see it. I've sort of grown used to how wacky and creative this place is, and normal, physical life is orderly and rule-following and nothing like that.
Before now, the only people who read my work was basically my mum. And the occasional interested relative or teacher. I know I'm not that important here, but it still feels good to read through the view numbers on my poems, and feel like someone has read my work. I was afraid to start posting when I signed up in February, but I wish I could have started posting sooner.
@bluebird , @The Invincible Troodon, @WanderingMonster, thank you for liking my work (and if there's anyone I'm forgetting, thank you too). All the people who showed up as views and didn't like: thank you for reading it. Even if you didn't like it--even in spirit, rather than in digital reaction, the fact that you took the time to read it means something to me.
I don't know if any of you care, but in case you do, I'm going to keep posting on the Cicada 3.0 website after I can't post here any longer (cicadamagarchive.home.blog) by the same username.
This is really good! :)
today is brought to you by the physical act of remembering.
& remembering is a swandive from a cliff: you choose when to jump, or youre shoved, or the ground decides it's time & crumbles. but freefall is the shortest purgatory a living thing can experience & you might tell yourself this was a mistake, that hurtling into the expansive, apathetic blue of the sea would render you something ended. something breathless & floating. the headfirst weightlessness & regret & solid hope & wishing hard for what was always leaves a hole in your chest when nostalgia bites.
then comes the water.
the cold crashes into you like a freight train & you are something mournful. something wanting. grieve the past & things that were. honor them. important things will stick.
you can make homes like you can make apples: from seed to sapling & maybe in a few years youve earned fruit, or a kind of belonging. a home is never more than a house plus memories. & this home may succumb to worms, or wood rot, or real estate, & you might package up remembering & leave it in your attic, but attics are made to be forgotten & rediscovered. this is its magic.
learning how to remember is a little spellbinding thing & the first time you spiral: you loop & spin & widen & suddenly that attic is the most important thing you have ever tasted. remembering is roses, or at least tinted pink. never mind the worms. never mind the rot.
this home lives in recollection, & souls, & the attics of new homes.
important things will stick.
taught me how to snuff out
the aching, glowing life i found in the way sun looks on clear water
with laughing comments and rolls of eyes
i have been embittered in realism forced upon me
(as though reality was their to shape)
a certain, soulless reality defined by false science
limited to what we know in this moment
(which is the idea of science, really)
i was taught to be afraid to voice
the magical way light dances on water
clouds swoop across clear sky
an infinite sample of the universe within meters
of my feet
in scattered rocks we take for granted
but right now i am glowing inside, i swear
and it makes me feel like that flat reality holds no limit on my words.
Typo: title was meant to be "voices" and I went onto autopilot. Embittered was actually the title of something else I'm in the middle of writing.
I can't figure out how to edit posts I've already written, so I'm stuck writing this in the comments section. Could someone help me on that?
sometimes when i read i can feel
the voices riding
over my own
that's why, honestly
i only read at night because even though i love reading
my identity is fragile enough that someone else can
when you give me advice it's like an asteroid
slamming into the fiery surface of my
splashing another hole of lava
where before there was cooling crust
a part of my new geology
sometimes when you give me your opinion
on my not-enoughness i collapse
and everything i thought was true is
no longer there anymore
a tunnel of doubt
maybe it's good for me but i just want to cool
be stable always knowing and solid
maybe that's wrong
i don't know
sometimes, on bad days
one little comment changes everything
but i don't blame you for using your voice
if i get that right too
i guess i'm willing to suffer for it
sometimes, i know
i'm mimicking, and i do it anyhow
somewhat convinced that there are studies in psychology holding validation
but this is conscious
an easy way to earn your love
a shameful habit i cannot squash
people are willing to accept me better,
if i echo their voice; feeling sick inside as i watch myself
than if i close my eyes
wipe them away
and stare at nothingness, trying to locate the lonely planet known as myself
some other days i don't care
a growing wall of solidity
the positive comments excite me
i love the way words rush out of me and maybe i'll collapse when another asteroid comes through,
but i feel now
as though i am
watching the comets from down below on soft grass sprinkled with dew
and the water
it's just water
those stars in the sky are just other stars
doesn't have to mean anything about me
but i can behold their sparkles in the night, this night
and reach forth hopefully into oblivion