In the trees from Faulkner, Calvino,
and probably as many writers
         as I was starting to know.

these had clattered and whined like a fence
electrified against a light rain
         in the heat of September,

the thin current pulsing through barbed wire,
the air buzzing, and that was it,
         the sound of the cicadas.

But the word itself? For a long time
I could not hear it, and pretended
         it had no sound, a silence.

What I ventured, at last, was all soft:
a lisping, tentative hiss bringing

nightfall to pages full of heat and
shade trees caught with my desire for
         someone, anyone, to see

the globe of light in my room, find me
reading Absalom, Absalom or
         The Baron in the Trees and