The Dragonfly Who Crossed Chesapeake Bay
for the immortal dr. bass
DL Pravda

worse places to sleep than the beach until the cops show up or a garbage truck rumbles like a land tsunami. early low tide. terns squawk-fight over a fish. light shines under a line of gray clouds. a diver treads water under a crane barge along the edge of sanity known as dredging and the nagging necessity of repetition. i flail at flies but they still bite. i find a smooth piece of green glass. throw back a sharp one. feel fortunate to find nothing as long as i am able. nothing is stable like the line between gatherer and scavenger. an out-of-breath dragonfly lands on my arm. sometimes i wonder when i will be too weak to walk the beach. jeff says i should picture good health. i weave between seaweed and plastic. little fish frantic in a cut-off tidal pool five hours from high tide. clouds gone. when a trash truck crushed a drunk guy on virginia beach, the family got 500 grand. foot-long splinters and fish hooks wait in the sand for those babbling about beauty. sunlight surfs lips of waves. bay breeze spits a slippery grace. mother nature laughs at luck. here comes the insurrection of survival, desperation of the dragonfly unaware of a friendly predator. the dragon takes off inland. i ask the swirling flies if they know any fables of temptation. they sing ring around the rosie.

The winner of the 2019 Dogfish Head Poetry Prize for his book, Normal They Napalm the Cottonfields, DL Pravda tries to preserve what remains of nature and rurality with poetry, music and photography.  His poems have recently appeared in Kakalak, The Meadow, Poetry Quarterly, Rockvale Review and South 85.  Pravda also fronts a rock band called The Dunes (

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