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CICADA

Team Cicada
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About CICADA

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    Imago
  1. Tempest

    by Connie Liu
  2. little goldie’s all alone:

    by Vanya Rumsey ~~~ little goldie went a-walking
down by the riverbed. “this mud is too thick,” she said. so it sucked her down,
alone, she’s gone down. little goldie went a-crying
down under the riverbed. “this water is too cold,” she said. so it swept her away,
alone, she’s gone away. little goldie went a-searching
down in the riverbed. “this life is too lonely,” she said. so it kissed her lips
and she turned blue, adrift. “this is just right,” goldie said,
reeds growing in her riverhead.
  3. author

    by Shyla DeLand ~~~ remembering I wanted to tell a story, I put my pen to paper, curling cursive, ballpoint print. I use pretty words: glimmer, fisted, collarbones. words to unmask my pain, like peeling potatoes, or maybe to hide my ineptitude, draping myself in paper, bathing in ink.
  4. Untitled

    by Evan Ehrhardt ~~~ The only way to understand what it’s like to live among people whose language you cannot speak is by standing in the middle of the highway and arguing with the headlights.
  5. Boogie Man

    by Mara Lind ~~~ The boogie man was lonely, so I took him in. I covered his toes with blankets and kisses. He whispered secrets, teaching how time can be a tomb: teeth tight and suffocated. He taught me claustrophobia. The boogie man told me worries. His mind, a peacoat-pocket watch, woke me screaming. His claws, clutching Tylenol, choked my tongue. His words, spoken soft: you’ll never fall asleep. The boogie man scared my parents. They said: “He’s not welcome to be wailing inside your mind.” I said: “He’s mine.” But they gave me Zoloft to quiet him. Today, the boogie man strokes my throat, gloating he may never leave the broken chords of arteries.
  6. During the Apocalypse

    by Mel X ~~~ The jungle gym looks like veins at night, looks like pulsing beating it is pulsing and beating and a hand appears on the ladder. I am afraid to let go of you. Forests are a cold kind of calm, full of lost shoes hats (lives?) and voices echo, pulsing and beating in your ears as you run and I am afraid to let go of you. Up and down the bloated highway full of empty cars heads and far off in the distance the pulsing and the beating of gunshots —empty casings fall one-two two-three —and we know the doors won’t be opening and I can’t hold on forever but I am afraid to let go of you. The world wasn’t always like this, baby. It used to be you could walk outside without turning around to see someone at your throat. But we’re not very lucky now. Don’t let go of me, dear.
  7. The Drifter

    by Aries Nichols Searching. (drifting.) She carried me in a sling and walked an hour long trail that revolves around the doors of cafés Now I’m finally walking, and she asks me to get her coffee, but I never shoot a bird at rest, so I never cut across the grass. Stains cost your shoes as you step and flatten the grass as a tire flattens a squirrel. All to bring a cup to you, you know? She doesn’t know. it’s painful to see. But I remember how she smiled at the grass when it waved, and she let it grow tall to smile every day. Standing. (sinking.) This skin on your hands wrinkling. Every year, we shrink, we get creases instead of rings. My hands fill with splinters, but I’m almost free. I get my grip on the branch of a tree I need this view. It’s the only way to see. Down there, I can’t breathe through the coffee and gasoline. I lift my hand, an oak leaf. And it drifts, lost at sea. Am I my mother? Reaching? (missing.) But it’s almost in reach. I want that cloud, you know? The one that looks like me.
  8. an elaborate deception

    by Minjung (Mina) Yu shapeshifting is a delicate art, like sculpture just like if the artist’s hand slips while coursing over the marble a mistake is irrevocable. i don’t do it often but sometimes i need to come up for air, so i find myself once again standing in front of the mirror, still dressed in my school clothes, my hair done up, a ten-cent smile accessorizing my face. first i undo my hair and remove my clothes and then the hard part starts because then i must pierce my scalp with the ends of my fingers and begin to peel it away round-and-round like like a tangerine peel, careful not to tear it and leave evidence of my fallacy, down my forehead to my eyes and nose and mouth down to my neck past my pulse continuing past my shoulders and torso until at last i’m removing the last delicate fragment of skin from my toes and all that remains are the bare bones of my insecurities, fears, my unheard thoughts crowding in their cage, my ribs, desperate to glimpse a snatch of the artificial light that highlights the dark ridges of my jealousy and all the cracks and dents from all the blows that hit too close to home. i never look long— too long and i feel the way i imagine beached whales might— but pick up my skin and slip it back on like an old sweater (the putting-on is always easier than the taking-off), put my clothes back on for good measure, make sure every hollow space and wretched bone is safely hidden behind a layer of comfortable deception. i clean the blood below my fingernails before diving back down into the ocean.
  9. a storm-wrought sea

    by Jessica Soffian so this is how it lands when we dare to hope too high, stretch too far upwards, and forget to bend our knees when we land this is how we fall there is a man or a woman or many men or many women and every color in between they are black and white and yellow and red they are pink and brown, they are flush with passion their voices are a tidal wave rushing, tumultuous, and when matched with an opposing wave, inconsequential. there are footsteps in the sand they step forward even as they are washed away they press on against the rain and the waves and the howling, brutal wind as a great crab lifts his shell above the ocean, his claws waving about as he declares none shall pass on my shore. i am the king the gulls pelt him though his skin is thick and the small, strong pipers scurry past, unseen this is not a dream this is a reality where nightmares can come true where hundreds of thousands of hermit crabs can stick their claws out and scream without ever removing their heads from their shells where the free-swimming fish are battered back by the tide, swept by the wave that leaves in its wake nothing but claw-clacking silence they’re not gone they hide behind the rocks, silent and waiting for the storm this is a world where the waves can strike where the king crab can wave and scream but this is also a world where the great blue whale rises above the ocean and casts her upon the pipers and sings a song for the first time the song that has been growing and changing and growing and the pipers sing back in their small, chirping voices and they wait now is not forever and so we hold on.
  10. Satellite

    by Betsy Zaubler (First line is from “For the Return of the Bee” by Laura Kasischke) ~~~ A satellite from the sky fell down to earth today and kids got out of school early, not because of the satellite but because it was parent-teacher conference day. The parents didn’t let the kids play with the satellite so they kicked and screamed because maybe the satellite had seen Jupiter or Saturn and all we’ve seen are oceans, and mountains, and dirt but the beeping, the spewing of space material scared the parents and they held their kids’ hands to protect them from what they didn’t know, so I sat with the satellite, comforting it, wiping away metal blood, metal tears, asking how did you get here? Why did you come? But the satellite just beeped and I imagined it telling stories of Mars or Pluto, of asteroids or stars but I couldn’t understand so I went back to wiping the metal blood, the metal tears, thinking about his, or her, or its journey tumbling through the sky, being ripped apart by air, with nothing and no one to catch it.
  11. the truth about pale mornings

    by Autumn Grace i. you think it would be easier, the pink morning, the crinkled sheets it is the third time after all, the empty bed, the warm imprint but somehow it’s harder ii. you think you would know, the outstretched arm, the hollow wishes that what should be isn’t always what is, the dirty floor, the scattered clothes but somehow you don’t iii. you think perhaps you should stop, the single shoe, the trembling hands this endeavor is leading nowhere, the closed eyelids, the mumbled words but somehow you can’t iv. you think maybe they are foolish, the empty mug, the folded note for returning again, the unruly hair, the dark room but somehow the leaving matters more
  12. She Sees / I See

    by Alena Zhang water crawling beside a fresh spill of glitter lava silhouettes of spotted embers glowing by the hands of the summer sun trees painting a cowhide black and white darkness erupting to a light sending a maelstrom of dragonflies jetting across the scorching stream and my little sister hears but what I don’t feel is that grumble of the gravel the earth beneath our feet shouting and you’d think she would ask me “is this normal?” but she still has time to learn because I’ve seen winters come and go and make volcanic mistakes one too many times.
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