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Pre-Op Portrait with a Colony of Bats

They held the mask

over your mouth, pumped you

full of forgetting: the sky

fashioned a noose and hanged

herself, purpling and gasping—

slackening, she let loose

her dusky children, shook them

from their clustered lung of sleep,

spit them like broken teeth—their bodies

swarmed your eyes, wings thin as any

eyelid—and you—you got it wrong—

the owls never came—

from TeratologyFind it in the Library

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on behalf of Persea Books.

Published in Poems Susannah Nevison

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