|Jenny George [Power of Hope]|
I saw a bat in a dream and then later that week
I saw a real bat, crawling on its elbows
across the porch like a goblin.
It was early evening. I want to ask about death.
But first I want to ask about flying.
The swimmers talk quietly, standing waist-deep in the dark lake.
It’s time to come in but they keep talking quietly.
Above them, early bats are driving low over the water.
From here the voices are undifferentiated.
The dark is full of purring moths.
Think of it — to navigate by adjustment, by the beauty
of adjustment. All those shifts and echoes.
The bats veer and dive. Their eyes are tiny, golden fruits.
They capture the moths in their teeth.
Summer is ending. The orchard is carved with the names of girls.
Wind fingers the leaves softly, like torn clothes.
Remember, desire was the first creature
that flew from the crevice
back when the earth and the sky were pinned together
like two rocks.
Now, I open the screen door and there it is —
a leather change purse
moving across the floorboards. It’s unsettling.
But in the dream you were large and you opened
the translucent hide of your body
and you folded me
in your long arms. And held me for a while.
As a bat might hold a small, dying bat. As the lake
holds the night upside down in its mouth.
The Miniature Bed
A miniature bed, and in it two tiny people
not sleeping, not able to sleep because
a small lie has flowered between them,
fragile as a new, white crocus.
The miniature bed holds them like a miniature boat
making its slow, true course to morning.
These tiny people, thoughts thrumming like mice,
are quiet as the lie blooms over them
becoming to them like a moon hovering
over their bed, a moon they might almost touch
with their miniature hands, if they weren’t certain
that one wrong gesture might break
the spindles of their small world, if their hearts
were not drops of trembling quicksilver,
if they were brave, if they could see
that small is no smaller than big, that thimbles
are deep as oceans for any god, they might even
touch each other then, opening the dark,
like a match the sun’s flaring.