small blue dragonfly

A small blue dragonfly rocked in the waves of the pool. On his side, unmoved. I scooped him out of the water, assumed I was removing a carcass bug. He wasn’t fighting anything, wasn’t spinning his legs like a windmill. But I dumped him out onto the concrete, the boys around me kicking soccer balls and drinking beers, and I picked up the small blue dragonfly, perched him on my finger and saw his legs start to kick, a cough, his tail start to bend – a bridge rocking in a storm, an earthquake – and I blew his body dry until he could stand upright, until his cellophane wings pumped open the white veins between them, until he could clean his own eyes, feeling like nothing else mattered – not the night, the oncoming storm, the splashing around me – but to save him. I blew the bruises, the mist – to me but drowning dew to him. My boyfriend took him from me like a small child or a jewel and gently placed him on a fence post. His wings opened up, he said, he’ll be OK. I looked to the sky hoping he could make it through another storm soon.

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