Listener of Bats Poem

Listener of Bats Poem

There, done. I watched it once again,
—at four fifteen today,
on the last day in May—
sunrise. Day’s sudden juncture

so predictable: what is lit first
—and always the longest:
skies, steeples, roofs—
and what will be lit at noon only,

when all shadows, for an instant, recoil.
Bitter-sweet hour, dawn
—for the listeners of bats,
shufflers of night—

when darkness pulls back, yes,
but light comes too fast, then arcs
—with day’s bane
of locusts, traffic, rain—

flares down everything,
and all shadows stretch, then recoil.
At dawn: may I die
—during those mingling,

willing hours—
when colors are tender
and lazily blend,
—when waves braid

their light in the sea—
and there is time
before all shadows, for an instant, recoil.
Leave, slight as a bat’s whir

—when night recants,
but day is not ablaze—
and before the cicadas,
jab their relentless jeers

—cheater, cheater
cheat, cheat—
I’ll go then: at dawn. Silent, slow:
the way a shadow recoils.

Laure-Anne Bosselaar
first published in AGNI, no. 53
also from Small Gods of Grief

Listener of Bats Poem

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