Order of the Dragonfly
1. Life Cycle
Once, I was a prehistoric soap bubble.
A glass hoverer, flaunting my hydrophilic tail.
All gelatin and extendable jaw,
I stank of antediluvian ages.
Until I became infinite, twice over.
I climbed the tallest reed and with impunity, I multiplied.
I was still, at times, mistaken for a devil’s sack of marbles
yet to find their warped perfection and prepare for flight.
Now I am vein and water. Polar pull.
I gloss with chitin; I glint with cycles of the sun.
What is built on my blueprint
will surely outlast.
2. Compound Eye
Honeycomb of nerve.
Wealth of aperture.
bulbous cup of color,
take in that view.
Slick with vision.
Hold light on your arid plain.
Unfurl fovea, and nothing but the sun
could make a finer cut
into the damp ground of your sight.
There’s a knack to knowing
not just where but how a fly is buzzing.
Never rush your enemy.
Better to ambush her future.
The gift is the blind side.
The secret is anticipation.
I move with all my wings
pretending cross purposes,
as if not master
of my vicious vessel.
Where she has not yet
willed herself to travel,
I will, as though by chance, already be.
My hinged jaw, ajar.
Sara Biggs Chaney received her PhD in English in 2008 and currently teaches first-year and upper level writing courses in Dartmouth’s Institute for Writing and Rhetoric. Sara’s first chapbook, Precipice Fruit, was released from ELJ Publications in 2013. Her second chapbook, Ann Coulter’s Letter to the Young Poets, is forthcoming from dancing girl press. Sara’s poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in RHINO, Columbia Poetry Review, [PANK], The Dialogist, and other places. Sara was a finalist for Best of the Net, 2013. You can catch up with Sara at her blog.