It begins with one tau emerald, dead
on the screen door. Nose-diver, weighted
dart. Then another—alive, hovering over
my daughter’s head like an emergency.
For a moment it appears to land on her hair
cross-hatched like a river’s tan bank
until a shift of her body, of light, is seized
in a pair of compound eyes. Resolution
exchanged for relational, wide-angle vision—
a message to move on. In a week made strange
by weather, we see the garden become air-
space. Sunlight vents serrated mandibles,
crowns lawns in chiton. Decline so common-
place we doubt at first our eyes, deny
this iridescence of wings, abundant swarm.
How did we overlook nymphs stirring
for months in aquatic cellars, busting out
of temporary suits every other night?
And where is our nearest body of water?
We walk the block seeking the source before
heat returns us—fractious, empty-handed—
to the question, what else did we miss?
Urgent as a dragonfly’s predacious flight.