"Crickets" by Kristinn Ingi Thorarinsson; for more information, visit http://kiddiingi.deviantart.com/

“Crickets” by Kristinn Ingi Thorarinsson; for more information, visit http://kiddiingi.deviantart.com/

When the Crickets Clash

in clay bowls, for sport,
there isn’t blood.
Opponents circle
one another, mandibles
open, snapping. One
succumbs to cowardice,
cowers, tucks
his antennae.
They’re goaded
by territorial markers—
reeds, hay blackened
with the pollen
of wild poppies—
and by swarms
of females.
Winners are fed ground
shrimp, housed in white-
washed bamboo cages.
Defeated crickets
are returned
to the fields.
Some say watching
crickets fight
quells human aggression.
Some say the loudest
singers are the
fiercest fighters.
Some say crickets
were first kept
by the emperor’s
concubines—
their bedside chirping
exorcised moon-
light, loneliness.

Noll, digital photo bw

About Brianna Noll

Brianna Noll is a Ph.D. candidate in the Program for Writers at the
University of Illinois at Chicago, and she is Poetry Editor of The
Account: A Journal of Poetry, Prose, and Thought. Her poetry appears, or
is forthcoming, in 32 Poems, Puerto del Sol, Passages North, the Kenyon
Review Online, and elsewhere.

 

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