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Spring 2008

Bats

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Each night they come back, chasing one another
among the fronds after gorging on papayas,
to drink from the swimming pool. With my sleep-
stiffened bones, I like to watch them, careening
into the bright pool lights, spattering the walls with pulp
and guano, like graffiti artists. Sometimes, when they meet,
they hit one another's furred wings—Love thy neighbor
like thyself
—and then soar off again to drink
more bleached water. Sometimes, it seems as if
they are watching me, like a Styrofoam head
with a wig on it. "The patient reports that he has
been lonely all his life," one screams to the other.
I can hardly stand it and put my face in my hands,
as they dive to-and-fro through all their happiness.

—Henri Cole



Henri Cole is the author of six collections of poetry, most recently Middle Earth and Blackbird and Wolf.
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