Then the dragonfly flew, squaring the corner, came up the ramp toward the door of the portable classroom — a low, hovering student enrolled.
She pivoted suddenly, shunning my handshake and greeting; sharp corner before flying back over the sidewalk. She measured the smooth cement squares length by width, squaring her corners to match the edges and cracks between the regular, regimental slabs.
Settling in the sun, stunning emerald and gold, pondering our angles —
The soul is sucked dry!” she cried. “But who needs a soul in the city?”
She looks out from “a place… dry and dusty*.” Ironically, the 15th floor.
She has been away from her home so long that the city is integrated with her being, her thoughts. City- molded, but not city-fed. It feeds upon those who stay this long — eyes stop investigating, brains stop reflecting, chips swallow braincells — a uniform diversity has absorbed her originality.
The last time she left, went home, she had forgotten the language.
Warmth, welcome and humanity had driven her back to the hub, the tower. Steel, concrete, glass. Traffic, litter, loneliness… safety.
What once was discordance, grate, jar, screech, is lullaby — the hum of humanity’s machine.