Matthew Zingg

permanent residence [13]

Was the exact month for rain—for the damp root
coddled in dirt—for cicadas teenaged

with fogged bodies—set to roar their
tympanic eulogies—freight train

like whirring through the forest’s dark edge:

there three friends—swat the things off each other—

one who won’t last the wailing season—who will
twist his body into the trees—the other

I will drag up the stairs of his apartment—
later in life—drunk—keening—

I will always be dragging one or the other up—
my nails blue with earth—my voice plea worn:

Y quiero morir cantando—says the song—

says there are types of wonder that rely
on destruction—says desire is perpetual

until it’s a carapace hung out to dry
on a limb like some prehistoric verse:

(hang there—my cicada—in witness of my love):

I was taught how to lean off the front porch

like a celebrity
with a pocketful of prescription drugs—

there was a screen door over my heart—
a painting the size of stained glass above my head—

I had no idea: I ran naked into the air howling
around my body—the world

a piece short—I couldn’t see a thing
past the furious wings of my song

Matthew Zingg’s work appears in Cider Press Review, The Madison Review, Low Log, and Opium Magazine, among others. He received his MFA in poetry from Adelphi University. He runs the Federal Dust reading series in Baltimore.

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