Bats

Paisley Rekdal

 
unveil themselves in dark.
They hang, each a jagged,
silken sleeve, from moonlit rafters bright
as polished knives. They swim
the muddled air and keen
like supersonic babies, the sound
we imagine empty wombs might make
in women who can’t fill them up.
A clasp, a scratch, a sigh.
They drink fruit dry.
And wheel, against feverish light flung hard
upon their faces,
in circles that nauseate.
Imagine one at breast or neck,
Patterning a name in driblets of iodine
that spatter your skin stars.
They flutter, shake like mystics.
They materialize. Revelatory
as a stranger’s underthings found tossed
upon the marital bed, you tremble
even at the thought. Asleep,
you tear your fingers
and search the sheets all night.
 
From The Invention of the Kaleidoscope by Paisley Rekdal, © 2007. Reprinted by permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press.

Poems by This Author

Intimacy by Paisley Rekdal
How horrible it is, how horrible
Self-Portrait as Mae West One-Liner by Paisley Rekdal
I'm no moaning bluet, mountable


Further Reading

Poems About Animals and Pets
27,000 Miles
by Albert Goldbarth
from The Kitten and Falling Leaves
by William Wordsworth
I Am! Said the Lamb [excerpt]
by Theodore Roethke
Jubilate Agno, Fragment B, [For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry]
by Christopher Smart
A Crocodile
by Thomas Lovell Beddoes
A List of Praises
by Anne Porter
A Noiseless Patient Spider
by Walt Whitman
Animals and Art
by Ron Padgett
At Bay
by Carl Phillips
At the Zoo
by William Makepeace Thackeray
Darwin's Finches
by Deborah Digges
Eletelephony
by Laura Elizabeth Richards
Epitaph to a Dog
by George Gordon Byron
Flamingo Dreams
by William Saphier
Freedom in Ohio
by Jennifer Chang
From the Canal
by Michael Dickman
Gila
by Rigoberto González
Goldfish Are Ordinary
by Stacie Cassarino
Grasshopper
by Ron Padgett
Hawk
by Daniel Waters
Ho Ho Ho Caribou
by Joseph Ceravolo
horse vision
by Julian T. Brolaski
How Doth the Little Busy Bee
by Isaac Watts
Journey aka OR7
by Gerard Malanga
Leda and the Swan
by W. B. Yeats
Maine Seafood Company
by Matthew Dickman
Me and the Otters
by Dorothea Lasky
Mole
by Wyatt Prunty
Nonsense Alphabet
by Edward Lear
On Viewing the Skull and Bones of a Wolf
by Alexander Posey
Orkney Interior
by Ian Hamilton Finlay
Prayer from a Mouse
by Sarah Messer
Psalm
by George Oppen
Quiet the Dog, Tether the Pony
by Marilyn Chin
Skunk Hour
by Robert Lowell
Testy Pony
by Zachary Schomburg
The Armadillo
by Elizabeth Bishop
The Barnacle and the Gray Whale
by Cecilia Llompart
The Bear
by Galway Kinnell
The Caterpillar
by Robert Graves
The Crocodile
by Lewis Carroll
The Dusk of Horses
by James Dickey
The Eagle
by Lord Alfred Tennyson
The Fly
by William Blake
The Future is an Animal
by Tina Chang
The Heavy Bear Who Goes With Me
by Delmore Schwartz
The Lorca Variations (XXVIII)
"For Turtles"

by Jerome Rothenberg
The Moose
by Elizabeth Bishop
The Paper Nautilus
by Marianne Moore
The Parakeets
by Alberto Blanco
The Purple Cow
by Gelett Burgess
The Return
by Frances Richey
The Snail
by William Cowper
The Tyger
by William Blake
The Windhover
by Gerard Manley Hopkins
Thing
by Rae Armantrout
To a Mouse,
by Robert Burns
Toad
by Diane Seuss
Turn of a Year
by Joan Houlihan
Wild Gratitude
by Edward Hirsch
Wilderness
by Carl Sandburg
Woodchucks
by Maxine Kumin
Poems for Halloween
Macbeth, Act IV, Scene I [Round about the cauldron go]
by William Shakespeare
The Lady of the Manor [Next died the Lady]
by George Crabbe
All Hallows Night
by Lizette Woodworth Reese
All Souls' Night, 1917
by Hortense King Flexner
Antigonish [I met a man who wasn't there]
by Hughes Mearns
Christabel [excerpt]
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Dirge
by Thomas Lovell Beddoes
Dream-Land
by Edgar Allan Poe
Goblin Market
by Christina Rossetti
Hallow-E'en, 1914
by Winifred M. Letts
Hallow-E'en, 1915
by Winifred M. Letts
Hallowe'en Charm
by Arthur Guiterman
Halloween
by Robert Burns
Halloween
by Arthur Peterson
Haunted Houses
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Incantation
by George Parsons Lathrop
Low Barometer
by Robert Bridges
Mr. Macklin's Jack O'Lantern
by David McCord
November Night
by Adelaide Crapsey
On Halloween
by Janet Little
Raising the Devil: A Legend of Cornelius Agrippa
by Richard Harris Barham
Shadwell Stair
by Wilfred Owen
Song of the Deathless Voice
by Abram Joseph Ryan
Sonnet 100
by Lord Brooke Fulke Greville
Spirits of the Dead
by Edgar Allan Poe
The Apparition
by John Donne
The Giaour [Unquenched, unquenchable]
by George Gordon Byron
The Hag
by Robert Herrick
The Hand of Glory: The Nurse's Story
by Richard Harris Barham
The Haunted Palace
by Edgar Allan Poe
The Raven
by Edgar Allan Poe
The Vampire
by Madison Julius Cawein
The Vampyre
by John Stagg
The White Witch
by James Weldon Johnson
The Witch-Bride
by William Allingham
Theme in Yellow
by Carl Sandburg
Third Charm from Masque of Queens
by Ben Jonson
Ulalume
by Edgar Allan Poe