Dragonflies

Translated by Yasmine Seale​

Millions of years ago, there were no winged creatures.

We all crawled around on our bellies and paws

to arrive.

 

We arrived nowhere in particular,

but the rough ground coarsened our bellies

and our paws stretched out like mountains.

Every time we stopped in the shade of a tree,

one of us would shout: “Here we are!”

A fantasy mightier than mountains.

 

Millions of years ago, dragonflies emerged from narrow streams.

The water was heavy on their backs,

like a tightening in the chest,

so they asked creation for wings, 

that they might perceive anguish 

as clearly as stones on the riverbed.

 

Since then, we all fly,

millions of wings and planes cloud the sky,

humming like hungry locusts.

But not one of us has asked creation

to deliver us from the fantasy of arrival. 

In our chests, the same tightening.

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