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Fall/Winter 2006/2007 Issue #63

Black cricket in the doorway, on the ceiling, in
by Quan Barry

the air. Black cricket on the lip of the honey jar.
Black cricket like backwash up through the drains.
Black cricket the longest length of a finger, the pistons
of its cocked legs like stringed instruments bleating.
Black cricket there when I open the window,
black cricket on the high thread count sheets
like a mint. Black cricket like a fuse in the blood,
black cricket with all its ventricles pounding.
The hard rain staccato and pocking the fields.
Trochee and iamb. The heart’s only note.
Cricket dark and perpetual. Cricket that shatters
the world. See? Taste the sky fall. See? Touch
the moon rise, the moon as if smashed with a hoe.
Black cricket with its black cricket mate,
their crickety copulation caterwauling all through the night
far away from the human with its human oils,
far away.
What went on here? Which staircase is this?
Black cricket the only refrain in the dreamscape.
Black cricket semaphore, black cricket punishment.
Black cricket the proof of all this summer, us.
Black cricket ubiquitous, the sexual impulse.
Black cricket, don’t leave. Black cricket, mon dieu!
Sing as you enter. Oviposit me in your arms.
Swarm the autumnal room with your black cricket love.
O black cricket on the lip of the honey jar!

                                        —for B.


QUAN BARRY’s second poetry book, Controvertibles, was published by the University of Pittsburgh Press. She currently teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Quarterly West, Issue #63, Fall/Winter 2006/2007

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