The flue was closed, the windows shut,
the basement sealed. And yet
it appeared in our bedroom, a velvety
quick flutter of smooth leather, snatch
of dark night, glossy fur, and storybook
webbed wings. I wanted it out
with everything in my body, unable
to bear its frantic circles skimming the air
from bed corner to dresser drawer
to the arch above the window. Name
a revulsion: slithering or buzzing
or skittering or crawling and then add
wings. Remember last summer when we
descended the slick wooden stairs
into the cold water of the cave?
Above us, a whirling constellation of bats.
I want so badly not to fear what I don’t know.
Up close their snouts are canine, their black
eyes unblinkingly sweet and round,
but in the room where we make love
and I nursed our son, I want nothing feral
to breach, no need or desire or demand
to break itself frantically over my head
into wound, bright and wildly beating.
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