The orchestra swells like an afternoon.
End-summer. Mid-heat. Cages

swinging over the stage, in the back
corners of the amphitheatre. From behind
the orchard: a bird museum.

Closer and you realize the bars of the cages
cuddle like toothpicks twice threaded.
Then you see them, splendidly perched
on pinning legs: thousands and thousands of
crickets. At once, all the familiarity of chirping

In groups.
In groves.
In the concubine’s curio.

These crickets either singing
or, at least, sighing for sure. Each purposeful
chiu a sobering crescendo. Forewings
strumming a quiet, courting song.

Danielle Aquiline graduated from the MFA program in Poetry at Columbia College Chicago. In addition to teaching FYW full-time at Columbia College, she is also the editorial assistant for College Composition and Communication—the flagship journal in rhetoric and composition studies. Her poetry has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Black Clock, Court Green, Yemassee, Bellingham Review, Bloom, and Gulf Stream. She lives in Andersonville with her partner, Sona, two cats, two dwarf hamsters, and two dwarf bunnies.