We watched a dragonfly eat a bee.
It was scout summer camp, 1980.
We watched that magnificent beast take in its arms
an innocent pollinator of flowers
and chew its head off with its double jaws.
We hunched around the low post on which it hung,
watching the leaded windows of its wings
and its blue-ringed dragon-abdomen
quivering; we heard
the constant and merciless crunch.
The bee’s free wanderings between sweetnesses was snatched
by clattering wings and made fuel
for a darker, lonelier god’s doings.
On that same summer camp a boy in my patrol
brought porn mags stolen from his dad.
Those poses devoured by torchlight in our tent
woke monstrous new appetites in our bodies
whose hormones ate us alive.
Thirty years on, a meditation camp:
a yellow-ringed Emperor on a sedge stem,
and in its arms a headless kicking bee.
Its great bronze eyes ignore us.
We sit in silence in the living field,
and who I think I am gets eaten too
by a power whose wings glitter like fish scales:
from larval dark waters, a lord of open air.