Cicada Shell by Teresa Naval

Friday, February 22, 2013


It was the summer you were kissed by the face-stealer. They called you the Cicada, tsuku tsuku boshi, always slipping out of your skin as if it were nothing but lacquered zori.

Nightly, your reincarnation begins, the romanticization of insects, immortal Tithonus replacing the face of the moon. In their prayers, they speak of the Cicada, never the caterpillar, because they need no metamorphoses – only faceless midsummer song. Cicada shower, unholy chorus.

It was the summer you were courted by the face-stealer. They told you to shed skin until you die.

They do not know you die nightly.

But they do know this: the morning opens with ecdysis, and you teach voiceless cicadas how to sing. They moan with no mouths, stuck in invisible cocoons, dreaming of transfiguration.

Butterfly blood runs clear, you say, but cicadas live when they die.

Teresa Naval may have been you in a previous life.

© 2013, Metazen.

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