The cicada husk of the crescent moon sheds in cyclides light,
Molted whispers of life, spread like perfume behind the ear,
Or like silver earrings unadorned and scattered around the night-lit table.
Here too, the garden gown of Babylon lies heaped in soiled ruin,
Beaten down to sand at the foot of the bed of the Tigris and Euphrates.
Though the dunes are its aerial, root-bound springs,
Though the underground nymphs tend with cicala wings,
And underspurt of incessant summer song to lure
The resurrection rose of Jericho to bud once more,
In desert-faith for the hanging garden of a full moon.
“Cyclides” are more formally known as Dupin cyclides, which are geometric forms that can be ring-shaped, parabolic ring-shaped, or take other similar shapes.
Almost all cicadas (also called cicalas), including periodical cicadas, live primarily as underground nymphs until they emerge above ground in the adult form for several weeks to months.
The resurrection rose or rose of Jericho is the name for two varieties of resurrection plants, one of which grows in Iraq (modern-day Babylon). The hardy plants can survive extended droughts and like the Biblical city of Jericho, from which they take their name, are thought to be reborn from ash.