Home > Poetry > Ode to the Molting Cicada
Published: Fri Jul 1 2016
Salman Toor, Fag Puddle with Candle, Shoe, and Flag (detail), 2022. Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, N.Y. Photo: Farzad Owrang.
Ode to the Molting Cicada

O Treasure Hunter! O Archaeologist! You bury the years
with your brittle body, mandibles dirt-clogged. O Unspoken Voice,

you hoarse the evening with sleepy sex calls, barely awakened,
a fire engine stumbling the air. You kiss the trees.

You flutter-buzz-shiver, sidewalk-bound by my shoe, gray-green
monstrosity, friendly horror, late-night booty call.

O Unpacked Box, you move in a world forgotten, encrypted animal
hacking yourself into something new. A dog-end

between my fingertips, a Christmas ornament, I hang you branch-wise,
out of season. O Life Clinger! O Bird Feeder! O Emptying Skin!

Andrew Kozma received his MFA from the University of Florida and his PhD in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston. His poems have appeared in Blackbird, Subtropics, AGNI, Copper Nickel, The Best American Poetry 2015, and elsewhere, and his nonfiction has appeared in The Iowa Review. His book of poems, City of Regret (Zone 3 Press, 2007), won the Zone 3 First Book Award. He has been the recipient of a Jentel Residency, a Houston Arts Alliance Fellowship, a Walter E. Dakin Fellowship, and a D. H. Lawrence Fellowship. (updated 6/2016)

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