If I Were a Cicada
by Mohini Malhotra

If I were a cicada
I would serenade you
From behind dark lush leaves with
Songs of wind, dimpled water, bare feet kissing sand
Of growth spurts and crushes and unspoken words suspended in dewy air

If I were a cicada
I would fan you with my gossamer wings
While the sidewalks sweat under cloudless skies
And the grass thirsts for rain
And the Black-Eyed Susans crisp to dark brown

But for now
As the night stills around us
And the steam of the day subsides
I lie by your side, your breath on my cheek, your legs draped over mine
And we listen to the hymn of the cicadas drift in through the open windows

PHOTO: Cicada on leaves (

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR. I wait for the heat and burn of summer each year so that I can listen to the cadence and the rhythm of the cicadas trilling their love songs.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR. Mohini Malhotra was born in New York, grew up in Nepal, Thailand, India, Italy, and lives in Washington DC. She runs a social enterprise (shakti) to promote contemporary women artists from emerging markets and invests profits to better women’s and girls’ lives. She loves words she loves language and has her fiction published in Blink-Ink, Flash Frontier, 82 Star Review, A Quiet Courage, The Writers Center, and other wonderful journals.