63: coma, interlude 8


sprang from spora communalus,
but are they related in the wide etymologies
of war, worship, and loss,
breeding in those strange
orchards of words, bursting in those empty
memory marks and sordid other
orthographical and inherited imaginings,
breeding creatures that will walk
the earth round and after years
of labor and love and hating
remeet the solemarks of their origins
and say: Have I been this way before?

when the million bats died in their stony
hibernacula, researchers bore them
out one by one on little withy stretchers,
and the confection sugar G destructans
on their faces and wings
vanished in the airs of morning.

what we share is that we are all mysteries
to ourselves (which is no new thing to say),
and there are more mysteries
to come, enough, I tell Henry,
worthy of our time
and effort and mind.

he calls me an atheist.
You are an atheist, he says.
Thor agrees.
Lucy agrees.
I refuse this to Henry.
I refuse the word, I say,
but call me what you want.

bring to me the image
of wholeness, roundness,
things complete and thus things
broken. When the bats perished,
their million death masks
grinned in the echoing dark,
their silent agony descending
drip by drip into icecold pools,
the world became something less.
I tell Henry: the world is awake
and walking, asking its cousins
the whereabouts of its chiroptera,
all those furry chiroptera I had,
(and all those people, sure,
those people who once lived
in the desert).

the world grew heavier
by one more mystery,
paid for by a million bats.

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