Paul Spella / The Atlantic

In Jersey’s Pine Barrens crickets rub their saw-toothed wings and I’m a child.

A city child now a city man with woods between my ears behind my eyes.

Swarms, throngs, populist masses, agglomerationists, millionings.

Louisiana katydids of a wet summer night beep inside my brains.

Live theater. Intermissions. Who programmed that siren test pattern?

You cicadas and your washboard jingle bells and what’s that boing-ing?

Mississippi mosquitoes. Maine black flies. Vermont hornets.

Acetylene. Blackbirds. Power lines. Aluminum foil.

All tuned up at once. My skull plates ache. Is that hail?