Two Poems

David Wright

Dragonflies Are Not Exactly Assholes, Like You Said

Though they breathe as naiads through gills in their rectum and appear

to be terrible and lovely like something Vivaldi would hymn

with wicked repetition in the key of their God-forsaken hum

and set in 12/8 time, scored in four directions at once


dart, drop, then skim across the surface of a

stagnant lagoon.


On your grandfather’s farm, their backlit, iridescent green coming

at you, you hear this frantic soundtrack and run to the barn

in the half-light of late spring evenings. Safe there in the


of tractor tires and oil and several old dogs and straw

you breathe

loud enough to scare the shit out of yourself.


Listen: the rattle of your own thorax off the pond in your lungs.

Then its violent hum. Something inside you might

be beautiful, terror winging. wild insect alive.

Taking a Selfie In a Village Near Paris

What, my cartoon-faced love, keeps you so upright
on stilted shoes? Is it the hand of your faceless child?
And what do you love most about these years
before the war? I loved the colorful coats and scarves,
tucked into the men’s lapels and the equally vivid pink
skies over Paris. And the men in tall, identical black hats
and their perfect mustaches that mean everything.
Look at you in the lavender streets between the blue
buildings and the woman in her blue bow-tied hat. Look
at me in my button-downed dark green oxford, framing
myself too, my serious beard, wanting like hell to belong.


David Wright’s poems have appeared in Quiddity, Hobart, and Poetry East, among others. His most recent collection of poems is The Small Books of Bach (Wipf & Stock, 2014). He teaches creative writing and American literature at Monmouth College in west central Illinois and can be found online at or on Twitter @sweatervestboy.

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