~These poems were originally published in JMI: Journal for the Motherhood Initiative, as part of “A Manual for Children Leaving Home” (2011).
How to Make Friends Using Bat Wings
Maybe the last time you tried them on
they somehow galled or grounded you.
It’s certain that when you hung them up
(you’d also been trying to sleep lanternless)
they hovered, sighing.
Perhaps it’s time to move more than air.
Pulling them a body’s width apart,
ask a stranger to slip the left wing on
then stand out-of-doors together
until night alone can fill the chinks.
“Oh, but the body’s everything,”
sign some real bats then,
caroming among the palm trees
like smaller, more frantic fronds.