A bat flew into my room... and I recoiled,
My arms shielding my head instinctively.
Blind, winged, blundering, mole,
It clung by a sliver of claw to a far corner.
Vile stain of a grave umbrella!
Repulsive! A gibbet-rag — inert, inert and ugly;
A sack of foulness. Sudden, a searching moonbeam
Picked it out. Two leaden flames its ears,
Perfectly formed. The furry beat of its heart,
A feather on a pagoda, pattering soft as rain.
Poor pipistrelle, in your pauper's membrane,
Wafer-thin as gauze... the huddled wings
Coiffing the small collapse of your
Smokey, ash-bud face...
Lean monk in perpetual Lent,
Your brothers are swooping, fat,
In moon-milk lappings of flight!
Hermit, your dim, round eyes
Are begging bowls of beads. I cannot tell,
As you lamprey-cling to your ache in the niche of the night,
If you are a Jinn, a Jonah, malignant troglodyte, —
Kaleidoscope of feeling, —
A peeling, shriven sprite,
Or a hurt, gone quiet, healing.
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.