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The Bat by Davide Trame

It got in. Your greatest fear.
We said it could happen once in a million times
but once happened I felt as if it just had to.
This flutter in life's tapestry.
Because you said you hadn't seen it
and it had been only a flutter what you had
heard
or sensed rather, and had no doubt.
You left with only a tiny scream
asking for help and dashed into the bedroom
and locked yourself in.
Your scared voice trembling, thin and far,
an infinitesimal heart
pierced by an infinitesimal needle.
And we in the hall trying hard to chase it out,
the big balcony window open wide
to the swarming evening.
It seemed like life out of spite,
as we managed to push it to the window
it turned round towards us
brushing the ceiling, the library, our heads,
stopping with a squeak on the bedroom doorstep,
then on the doorframe, a dark brown patch
like a tiny stretched cloth that jumped then
among the books, part now
of a world of hidden breaths.
And we saw it again at last,
it was flattened and well camouflaged
with the very wood of the shelf,
a still wave mirroring our still
staring selves.
And your voice from the bedroom now
still too. Waiting.
Not even the needle of it.
A lurch and we trapped it in a bowl
and threw it into the night
from which he had come
falling into the heater's pipe,
rattling and scraping till dawn.
Now it's gone but you are gazing
at its flash, its whiff still
hovering in the hall, or a patch
stamped mute in an inside corner.
The flash of the fluttering kernel of the world
interrupting
a routine day of hopes and worries,
an astonished and astonishing wave,
the force of the present storming in
with an unavoidable lurch.

2008






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