Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Dance

I am a firefly, winking my green tail light in the midst of this big, bright city. Blink, blink, blink-blink. Blink, blink, blink-blink.

Most of the time, my husband sees my flashing and understands the code. He can blink back across the flowing green magma that is the freeway at night. This ability is one of the reasons I married him--he understands my Morse code better than most anyone else. And when he sees me, and blinks his own light back, well, then we are anchored together in the sea of scintillating signals.

But sometimes, I call a pattern that he doesn't respond to. It's a pattern that is real for me, a pattern that IS me. I blink-blink-blink and wait in the underbrush for him to blink-blink-blink right back. And when he doesn't, I blink-blink-blink again. And again. And with every flash my bug body grows hotter, angrier, more misunderstood, until I blink myself into a fury and throw my stiff insect self at him, buzzing with thin, sharp firefly wings.

And then there is darkness, marked by the spectroscopic imprint of untranslatable codes. And me: a lightning bug in the dewy, silent hedge, dancing alone.

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