Finding a Silver Dragonfly Out Back of the Saddleback Motel

It was while I was waiting for her one evening
out at that motel on Gunniston Road, that I walked round back
of the building, a smoke clinging to my lips,
and saw nearly buried but glowing under the neon cowboy
with his blinking red rope
a piece of silver jutting from the baked hard dirt.
After I reached down and dug it out, it felt cold in my hand,
but it was magnificent: a shiny dragonfly broach,
the clasping pin gone, but the body itself still intact
with maybe a little slight nick from lying half emerged
for who knows how long. But now I had it in my palm;
I spit-shined it with my thumb and got a jabbing sparkle
in my eyes. It caught some kind of reflection from above,
maybe the moon, maybe something I had not seen.
I felt warm all of a sudden. I felt transfixed,
a broken chain of years of how it had gotten here,
some yearning, some long forgotten decisions that stretched
from factory to lady’s blouse to this packed down
piece of shit motel, and it all struck me like an angry man
shaking a baby. I must have looked like a standing corpse
there for a few minutes, as my eyes flipped 180 and I peered
down into myself, at the many times I had no idea what I was doing,
what I may have lost. The deep stare passed and I shook my head,
a dry swath of tumbleweeds down my throat,
and the thirsty horse above me nearly bucked the red-roped cowboy.
I heard a car pull into the lot and walked back round to the front,
saw her black Volvo slide snug into the space,
and I pocketed the dragonfly, knowing deep well
how something so beautiful would be hard to lose.


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