electricity out again
the rural cooperative
never gives a reason

my cousin and I
lie upon our backs
at grandmother’s crippled feet
listen to cicadas
bring four o’clock
around on their vibrating thoraxes

their song rises from grandfather oaks
replete with locusts
that cling to gray elephant skin bark
the insects claim dominion of sound
push silence back
into the sun burned fields where
it flames away swiftly
in hundred-plus heat

when their performance concludes
the ceiling fan and soap opera
snap back on as through permitted
by the cicadas who’ve had
their afternoon say