Dytiscus Larvae: a Dramatic Scene – Yuan Changming

One most ferocious robber in the pond
World, observes a zoologist, is a slim,
Streamlined insect called the Dytiscus larvae:
Lying in ambush on a water grass
He suddenly shoots at lightning speed
To his prey (or anything moving or smelling
Of ‘animal’ in any way, a fat tadpole, for
Instance), darts underneath it, then quickly
Jerks up his head, grabs it in his jaws
Injects his poisonous glandular secretion into it
Dissolves its entire inside into a liquid soup
And sucks as it swells up first, and then gradually
Shrinks to a limp bundle of skin until it finally falls
From his fatal kiss. Very few animals
According to the observer
Even when starved to death would attack
Let alone eat an equal-sized animal
Of their own species
But the Dytiscus does, just as man does
Within or without a pond


Yuan Changming edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan in Vancouver. Credits include Pushcart nominations, poetry awards as well as publications in Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2008-17), & BestNewPoemsOnline, among others.

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