"a cricket in the apartment" by Elizabeth Galoozis


we know it

only by its sound

the vibration of its wings

in the dark.

we have tried

to trace the chirp,

trap it.

closed all the windows,

taken a broom to the skylight

to shake it loose

but all that fell

was plaster.

it showed up

the day of the election

and has stayed with us

through the counting.

we have tried to be still.

to distinguish its hum

from sirens,

idling engines,

helicopter blades,

incoherent yelling.


to starve it out,

we have looked up

what crickets eat:

turns out,

everything: mites, wood, leaves;

fabric, particularly soiled;

anything rotting or dying.

even each other,

even alive.

stuck with it,

stuck with each other,

stuck inside.

the matte black

of the skylight

apes a star-filled summer night,

clink of many sweaty glasses

and a chorus of crickets,

free from daylight predators

and singing.

a small, shining emblem of luck.


Elizabeth Galoozis’s poems have appeared in Sundog Lit, Faultline, Mantis, Not Very Quiet, Sinister Wisdom, and in parentheses, among others. Her poem "Cento: Six Women in Five Parts" was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She works as a librarian and lives in southern California with her wife Michelle, cat Stella, and too many fruit trees.

Instagram & Twitter: @thisamericanliz

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