The cicada killed trees line the highway,
their brown tips ready to fall to the earth
and plant the eggs of these ancient bugs,
where they wait out a generation
of sorrow, war, love, ambivalence
and then emerge in droves
madly mating and dying quickly.
I’m lost on the way to your house
and I should dig my phone
out of my purse, call you, and find out
where I went wrong. But I wait it out,
hope to find my way.
We build paths to one another, coat them with tar and rock
and follow them endlessly. I’m embarrassed
in front of the cicadas. They don’t even have mouths,
but every cycle of 17 years they know
to rise from the earth to seek and to find.
I pull into a gas station and browse the aisle
hoping that the route will appear somewhere
among the red and blue packages
of beef jerky and cheese puffs.
Without an answer I fill up the tank,
get back in the car, and drive.
My phone rings and its you. I let it ring.
The sun is going down, the stars start breaking through.
The bugs keep breathing, the hours move along,
and I keep searching the long stretches of pavement.