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 looking
I control my outcomes. I count
at me. The dogs are bucking
my dollars, pool my assets, notch
my bedpost. I like testing my limits
their heads in the pit
like I like a shot in the hand, a line
of my stomach. My skin weeps
on 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 beating
now: I fell asleep still standing, like
a lathered-up bad horse bathed
still. On waking, I burn
in the blue TV light. My body
through my days, a white wound
is 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, trying
accrue 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 bird
and 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

Other Stories in Cicada

© 2024 SPARK. All Rights Reserved.