CICADAS (BROOD II)
Somehow it’s worked out so
my children will meet them
at the same age I did...
Those streets were like the aftermath of some great dread battle, and,
secretly shaken by the wanton waste of life, I crunched their
writhing bodies under bike tires to escape the sight and sound.
I read they came again in ‘96, but
I was wrapped up in the city, safeguarded
by sidewalks, subways, and the absence of trees.
Suburbs offer no protection—their arrival imminent,
I am afraid now, as then, but with a more defined terror
of something else, staring from the other side of the windshield
—two lidless eyes, crimson and soulless, tymbals singing judgment,
an ancient, deafening reproach that only I can translate.
My son and daughter will watch out of windows, disturbed but
without the words to describe their fear. I’ll tell them cycles
always continue, and that one day they’ll understand the
true nature of the question:: What have you done with your time?
Peter Dabbene’s poetry has been published in many online and print literary journals, and collected in the book Optimism. His stories can be found online at www.defenestrationmag.net, www.mcsweeneys.net, www.piginpoke.com, www.wordriot.org, and elsewhere, and his comic book work can be seen in the graphic novel Ark and the magazine Futurequake. He has published two story collections, Prime Movements and Glossolalia, and a novel, Mister Dreyfus' Demons. His latest book is the humor collection Spamming the Spammers (with Dieter P. Bieny). He writes a monthly column for the Hamilton Post (viewable at www.mercerspace.com/blog/
pdabbene) and reviews for BlueInk Review and Foreword Reviews His
plays have been performed in New Jersey and Philadelphia venues. His website is