The South

The South moans, in heat,
the magnolia and the mimosa
perfume the sediment, punctuated
by the sweet-hot dying green,
the low roar of insects, of water
falling and lifting from leaves

A single cicada churned the air,
flew with purpose, dove hard
into the tarry pavement,
its rising susurration
shook in my throat, I swallowed
as it emptied, white belly
in the traffic

Banners of crosses and stars
abate the rust of pickup trucks,
treading gouging the clay,
wound-red openings in brackish weeds,
wound-red, the South in heat,
knocked down, knocked up,
pregnant with murderous things,
and the dumb whir of cicada wings