Posts Tagged ‘bat’

Ready to Sleep

Darkness comes so early now,
though it is only a trick
of the hands. The darkness
has not changed. It is the same,
the same as it ever was,
vast and ever expanding they say,
only this time of year
it appears from here that there
is more of it. And that it comes earlier
than it did.

Sometimes it cannot get dark enough.
Sometimes I fall in love
with the way that it
holds me entirely, not like the light.
With the light, there is always
a shadow somewhere.
But with dark, it touches me
everywhere and at once,
rubbing me sweetly till
my every line is erased.

In Sierra Leone, they speak of the days
when there was no darkness, no night.
Then God gave a basket to the bat
and told him to give it to the moon.
Tell Moon, said God, I will be by soon
to explain how it is to be used.

The basket was full of darkness.
And the bat lashed it to his back
and he flew and he flew and he flew
until he needed to search for food.
He set the basket for a moment down,
and while he was gone it was found
by another hungry animal who pried
the basket open. Bat returned only seconds
too late, but the darkness had escaped.

Sometimes I feel like the bat in this story,
who tries for the rest of his days
to gather the darkness back into wings
and contain it in the basket again.
As if I could hold the darkness instead
of it holding me. As if I could control
something as vast as immortality.
So the darkness does what it does,
it escapes. It escapes. It escapes again.
I stand with my empty basket at the edge
of the only world I know where
I swear the night seems longer,
and I wonder if perhaps
at last I am getting somewhere.

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