A Cauldron of Bats
After Airea D. Matthews’ “Descent of the Composer”

It’s hard to name how, or more precisely when

the body becomes a cauldron of bats—talons clutching to a pit

like the tongue risks losing its first language : this name

is pronounced as my mother’s fairest trial

flown out from the caverns. We position dormant in the dark, and by dark

we mean among the stalactites. Lapping up our salt with a soothe

when the snap doubles back : leaving our lungs as a pulse 

in pursuit of the signal. Thin skin to the sky and then lift

to this morning in bed, half-awake, where I am no owner

only luminated bougainvillea. Paper petals to the window

top sheet in slow rhythm with the sleep of my loved one.

Do I know this for sure? No, I am no seeing creature

I am millions of them awake in the dark

and by dark we mean acoustic : patagium fingers distort

our migration into swarm. I have yet to prove the echo

doesn’t leave the mouth—no, sometimes

the signal consumes the sender : one massive, mechanical wave

cracking upon fine lines of consent. We know to hunt in the dark

but I still consider sonar an unreliable medium—how I strike

a match to something ahead and then it’s on fire.

Published by Foglifter Journal, vol 7, issue 2, 2022