The Dragonfly Biologist Falling in Love

The Dragonfly Biologist Falling in Love

by Dennis Camire

Because she thinks love, too,
Is threatened with slow extinction
Despite it’s like translucent wings,
Her slow rising to romance’s promise is
A dragonfly nymph crawling up reed stock
After five years of moon walking the bottom of a pond;

And she imagines his first tender strokes
As those first warm rays dissolving
The emerging nymph’s armored encasing
So the winged, inchoate fetus inside
Can birth from behind the cervix
Of those enormous Darth Vader eyes;

And when she’s tortured by thoughts
Of everything that could go wrong
She’s schooled to think of predatory birds
Circling after one swallow-swoon
Alerts them to the cad fly appetizers hatching
Over the fractured plates of lily pads;

But when she tempers his expectations
By explaining the years of underwater life
Prior to the dragonfly’s brief five weeks of flight,
His carpe diem nature overtakes
And she finds herself, on dates, netted
By his surprised embraces from behind.

Later, she acclimates to the strangers
Watching their playful foreplay
As though in frolicking they, too, shine
An aqua green or lupine blue.
And the day after they rise together
From his bed, may he follow her

To the remote bogs and ponds
To press the netted wings together
Before lifting the creature for measuring;
And may he marvel, like her, at the two
Pair of wings working in perfect unison
While the ten thousand lensed eyes

Are alert to everything for 360 degrees;
And when one–upon release–
Alights his shoulder, may he still,
Like a child playing One, Two, Three Red Light,
Move his eyes enough to see the way
She rests, transfixed, by his side, smiling

And unwilling, too, to move, or breathe, or speak
Whether it’s curiosity, exhaustion, or love
Keeping the mysterious dragonfly in their life.

From Combed by Crows, Deerbrook Editions 2017 

Find the link to the review of the book in Off Radar on the site page.

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