Flies like Fascism

posted Oct 4, 2004

Cicadas soothe unsuspecting folk to slumber and eight hours later click them awake. Millions of males seek mates by manipulating billions of drumskins at abdomen's base. The cadence this high-speed vibration creates crosses kilometers in waves. Homoptera Cicadidae's hypnotic stridulations luftwaffing human sleep, ubiquitous rhythm zips minds closed by night, at dawn zooms wedge formation into brains, thus free thought slips unmourned away by day. Insects' incessant throb enters upward too, through the feet. Insistent timpanists strut a martial beat, with goose-stepping efficiency whip throngs into shape. Individual impulse gone, invidious irresistible itch to march in its place.

Shelley Ettinger's poetry and fiction have been in Mississippi Review, Word Is Bond, Lodestar Quarterly, Blithe House Quarterly, La Petite Zine, Pindeldyboz and other print and online journals. She has just finished writing her first novel.