Southern Primavera

The cicada cries out and the air breaks into a sweat. The after-rain spreads the magnolia’s perfume. Hollow exoskeletons cling to branches where the fire-eyed insects were reborn out of their old skin. White petals unfold, big and open-mouthed—an invitation to come closer, to listen to the cicadas pulsing in the black of the tree’s leathery leaves way up, to lean in and smell the flower’s shell. Steam rises up from the ground. Everything is saturated. Everything is in bloom.