this morning, pre-sunrise, down the paved bike trail along the river,
by the sewage treatment plant, i pumped in seventh gear through a stretch
populated with countless gnats in hovering clouds. it was still too dark
to see them well, but they peppered my arms and face, ticked against
my biking helmet as i rode through their domain, my head down, eyes squinting
to keep them out, mouth barely open and my breathing shallow to keep them
out of my throat or god forbid my lungs.

a flycatcher i passed sprung from its fencepost perch and fluttered along the trail
in front of me, swimming through the air in a meander confounding to any euclidean,
the flycatcher snatching gnats from the air, breakfast served the old-fashioned way.

flycatcher, be there again tomorrow morning, in the dawn.
i shall be there also, inshallah.

(Copyright 2023 by Tetman Callis.)

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