Anthem for Cicadidae
By Ella Rous
January 24, 2024
You wouldn’t catch me dead
losing. I’m an Olympian. I don’t lose.
I don’t like the way they’re lookingI control my outcomes. I count
at me. The dogs are buckingmy dollars, pool my assets, notch
my bedpost. I like testing my limits
their heads in the pitlike I like a shot in the hand, a line
of my stomach. My skin weepson the sink. I’m an Olympian. I’m a gold-
medal winner. I have a to-do list
from my body in sleep,and a nervous tic. Don’t come over
the soft fetal folds beatingnow: I fell asleep still standing, like
a lathered-up bad horse bathed
still. On waking, I burnin the blue TV light. My body
through my days, a white woundis a temple, but I’m a wrecking ball.
I’m an Olympian. I’m an eight-year-old
wanting infection.with Mod Podge, newspaper,
I’ve done amateur surgery –and a volcano due tomorrow.
This must be what I’ve been looking
split myself wide open and spilling –for: watching my properties
on these white sheets, tryingaccrue value, watching the champagne
spray into the Pacific, watching
to get this lump out of my stomach.my net worth billow like yacht sails
Trying to feel empty. Trying to feel full.in the wind. I’ll drop and give you
100 right now. It’s game day,
My hands pool. My heart is a birdand like I said, I don’t lose.
and my body is north.
Layout: Melanie Huynh
Creative Director: Laurence Nguyen-Thai
Photographer: Amy Lee
Videographer: Maddie Abdalla
Stylists: Emily Wager, Saturn Eclair & Vi Cao
HMUA: Averie Wang
Models: Meryl Jiang & Vani Shah