The cordless phone is baseless.
It rings and I don’t answer it.
I plan garden time instead. The phone
spreads its wings, or like a bulbous
plant, proves itself to the wind.
From out the trees,
cicadas lift like porch dust
and from where I’m sitting
I might just forget
the sounds made
from their abdomens,
the ribbed membranes like offshoots
of the flowers. I’ve forgotten
these sounds all winter
but now they’re back
and some tiny alarm
has been circling below like a harbinger.
Whenever the phone zings
I pretend the cicadas will answer it
and play back a memory
a hundred times over. No,
I have not yet unloved. No, I have tried
to bring you back.
The cicadas pass a message
through the leaves,
their indistinguishable vowels
cocooning, then cooing
I want their wings.
I want the answer
to this silence
as a hum played to the masses.
"Tymbals" originally appeared in Noncannon Quarterly.
Matthew Daddona is a founding member of FLASHPOINT, a jazz and prose improvisational group that has performed at many venues in Brooklyn and Manhattan. He has published poetry, fiction and reviews in The Adirondack Review, Gigantic, Forklift, Ohio, The Southampton Review, The Rumpus, Tin House, Bomb, The Brooklyn Rail, Joyland, Slice, Electric Literature, and Tuesday; An Art Project, among others. In 2011, he collaborated on a chapbook with poet/scholar Tim Wood, using Wittgenstein’s aphorisms as poetic conversation. He is the recipient of an Academy of American Poets prize and a Beatrice Dubin Rose award. He is currently at work on a novel, as well as a collaborative photography/prose project based on synesthesia.