Light is divided from the darkness
one revelation at a time.

And so, for me in childhood,
finding in the yard one morning
exotic six-clawed husks by the hundreds,
hunched and hung from elm's bark
by their anchoring involute grip.

Empty! Empty,
there was in them a grotesque innocence
as if a single idea had overwhelmed the night
enchanting each tree with a thousand intuitions,
leaving, in morning, these
dried memories clinging to the stilled bark
rough skins brittle as the scree
of long past humiliations.

Collected, the shells seemed identical
each cracked back from the head
lying open as a raw remembrance
rattling together in my glass jar
dry rumors from an alien universe.

In the early hours, the earth had heaved,
the great front claws squeezing seventeen years
tunneling upward out of the ground,
pulling each nymph up onto a tree
to hang and dry,
awaiting its inevitable transformation.

From each test,
its own revelation of winged grace has arisen.
Ascended into the foliage overhead
they couple elm and sky with insistent love.
Singing, singing, singing.

I am left on the ground
with the mystery of these stiff shells
examining the discarded intricacies of the past
listening to the union above,
to the ancient heart of the whole.

High in the canopy the cicadas are singing
with the sibilant wonder of revelation.