New Poem by Esther Kamkar

Cicada Love
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Sing for us

After releasing the lion-head knocker,
I plead:
Door, open for me. Let me in,
to the other side, where language is easy
and flowing, so I can tell exactly what I smell,
the colors I see, and the way sunrise in the milky
sky takes me to a crib, to a baby just woken up.
I beg:
Blue door of the poem, open for me.
Invite me to enter, to bring all my cicadas
with me. I don’t know what else to do
with them, where else to put them.

So easy to make friends with the women
of the world. We tell a story, we listen,
and we understand – a story of longing
and loss, stories of our children
and our parents, a story of exile.
Easy movements over the globe
on steady old feet.

Having no care
having no history
in the land of History,
earthquakes, and volcanic
explosions, I collect
one by one, hot black stones
on the black beach, only to keep
them by my side for the day,
and by dusk to give them back
to the sea, stone after stone.

From the old port
according to their own timetable
fast ferries of grief
arrive and dock.
They turn off their engines
and unload their cargo.

This is how love should be:
un-exotic, not a rarity, or oddity,
common as wild fig trees by the roadside,
as common as geraniums
in olive oil cans, as common as salt
from the sea.

They tell us about the gods, the goddesses,
the temples and the marble columns,
but for me cicadas are the gods of Acropolis.
Their incessant mechanical song,
all day, all around the hill.
in the circle of cicadas
I listen.
In the intense heat,
I listen to them
singing their song
about their days in the trees.

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