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Cicada Blue

ISSUE:  Winter 1997

I wonder what Spanish poets would say about this,
Bloodless, mid-August meridian,
Afternoon like a sucked-out, transparent insect shell,
Diffused, and tough to the touch.
Something about a labial, probably,
        something about the blue.

St. John of the Cross, say, or St. Teresa of Avila.
Or even St. Thomas Aquinas,
Who said, according to some,
                ”All I have written seems like straw Compared to what I have seen and what has been revealed to me.”
Not Spanish, but close enough,
        something about the blue.

Blue, I love you, blue, one of them said once in a different color,
The edged and endless
Expanse of nowhere and nothingness
        hemmed as a handkerchief from here,
Cicada shell of hard light
Just under it, blue, I love you, blue. . . .

We’ve tried to press God in our hearts the way we’d press a leaf in a
Afternoon memoried now,
        seppia into brown,
Night coming on with its white snails and its ghost of the Spanish
Poet of shadows and death.
Let’s press him firm in our hearts, O blue, I love you, blue.


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