by M.A. Schaffner

Mosquitoes ascend from a mottled pond
aaaaaaand hover like the snowy breath
aaaaaaof wind brushing dandelions.
Each glutton sip invites an early death.

A salamander holds them in his eye
aaaaaa’til the bats take over the watch
aaaaaatwirling for a twilight prize.
Then darkness; a firefly lights a match.

More spirits than humans emerge to see
aaaaaaan interplay of life that
aaaaaais not entirely rivalry.
They see, yet stay dispassionate.

A few hours, then night ends soon enough;
aaaaaaas time restarts, dizzy with day.
aaaaaaWater below, sky above
have limits, but limits never stay.

M. A. Schaffner has work recently published or forthcoming in The Hollins Critic, Dagda, Pennsylvania Review, Gargoyle, and Boston Poetry. Other writings include the poetry collection The Good Opinion of Squirrels, and the novel War Boys. Schaffner spends most days in Arlington, Virginia or the 19th century.