In this cicada city, we are dead,
We are quiet, we are home.
Here, you belong

To me. I, to you. The trees lurch
Toward later summer, reach
Toward the window

Where glass makes a mirror
Of the sitting. Lightning forks.
All directions lead to my empty head

Bent over a box of cicatrix ash.
My mothering lips are stitched
Shut by sorrow.

What was once a mind
Is pried open.
Look, doctor, at the tangle

Of synapse
Where the pearl should be.
And then, distraction —

The pink Mobius Strip dips down
And begins its torturous twist.
The current catches

The tree and drags me forward
Toward some mute missing beginning.

-Mary Jo Bang


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