Janée J. Baugher
Year of the Cicada
Unlike lightning bugs at night,
with their button ends emitting a cyan-fluorescence
which fed our childish need
to catch them in jars and to delight them
in a toilet voyage (their lights swirling
and then the disappearing act), the thousands of cicada
which magically emerged in May and swarmed,
shrilling, were more nuisance than wonder.
After weeks of searching for and serenading
potential mates and then laying eggs,
the cicada would cling to trees,
somehow separate themselves from themselves,
and leave their exoskeletons
clutching boles and branches.
Come summer, the empty cicada carcasses
would drop to the ground and crack like pride under our feet.
Among Us, Dorothy Allison
Dorothy Allison walking down the road,
a tattered beige tote slung over a shoulder.
Looking directly at me, Dorothy Allison hello
Dorothy Allison sitting on a bench,
sipping bottled water, setting glasses on her nose.
Dorothy Allison escape.
Dorothy Allison carting a tray of food,
selecting a dining table.
Dorothy Allison sweeping hair off her face.
Dorothy Allison a passenger in a silver SUV,
Dorothy Allison checking her wristwatch.
Dorothy Allison choosing an aisle seat
in the Wheeler Theatre, Dorothy
Allison listening to the flute playing of Kim Addonizio.
Dorothy Allison climbing on stage,
dressed in black and calling herself a dyke.
Dorothy Allison poised behind a winged-shaped lectern.
Dorothy Allison that does not define us
referencing an ex-lover from Queens.
Dorothy Allison recommending Samuel Delany.
Dorothy Allison subvert, humiliation, fuck, iron skillets.
Referring to herself as a Zen-Baptist
Dorothy Allison exhaling.
Dorothy Allison where upon
Dorothy Allison before a standing ovation.
Dorothy Allison imagination—
wheeling a red suitcase down a hill, around the bend
and out of sight, Dorothy Allison.
Janée J. Baugher is the author of two poetry collections, The Body's Physics (Tebot Bach) and Coördinates of Yes (Ahadada Books). Her writing has been published in The Writer's Chronicle, Boulevard, NANO Fiction, and Nimrod, among other places, and she was awarded a 2017 Dorland Mountain Arts Colony nonfiction residency. For more, visit JaneeJBaugher.wordpress.com.
— posted September 2017