Cicadas
by Gemma Cooper-Novack

in memoriam EK

I would have been here whether you died or not. Fish twist
their tails out of the water, the ripples
broaden the pond. I would

have been here, young girls using laughter to keep
their bodies afloat, my own legs
kicking the water aside so it covers
the deafening buzz and spills
over the sunset. A wet dog barks
herself in circles, fills her mouth with a stick
that’s bigger than her leg. I would have been

here, meat crisping
above crumbling coals, and in
a hospital room spongy new marrow would fill
your bones like moss—your muscles
slackening further, the knobby mole on your hand-shorn head
focusing like an eye. I would have

been here. The last time the cicadas came
out you were a newlywed,
reflective smile and hair falling straighter
than guitar strings that trickle music
down to the water now.

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 18, Issue 3.

gemma_bganske_web6Gemma Cooper-Novack is a writer, writing coach, and arts educator who lived in New York, Chicago, and Pokuase, Ghana before moving to Boston. She writes poetry, fiction, plays and articles. She enjoys walking on stilts in her spare time.

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