22 December 2019

Bat, a poem by Rethabile Masilo

A bat inscribes words in the sky,
flaps to its cave to hang upside down in it
like a dark growth forming,
a black thought in the cup of a skull
at night when slumber refuses to come,
till blood irrigates its brain and a red
puddle collects in the trough
like a semi-gelatinous pudding—

others flock in to hang with it,
black lumps on a ceiling
in the rib-cage of a mountain. Each day
they trill a song through the air,
dangle with their capes around them,
lick the sap of sinners off their lips,
and sleep like lamps switched off.

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