A Bat Unveiled

Original Text: 

Jen Currin, Hagiography (Toronto: Coach House Books, 2008): 55.

1In the museum of land mines,
2my acquaintance fans her wings.
3Outside the sparrows catch fire.
4A tree falls to its knees.
5I become the sudden murderer,
6unable to recognize the radishes
7of my hands.
8The dictionary shudders. Again I cannot be
9alone. What is left of beauty
10I sop up with a napkin, believing
11it a limited supply. My only reading material
12gives in to the blaze.
13And now I burn the legs
14of the chair, lest they touch
15the ground. I would give anything
16for a glass of water.
17But there are only dirty spoons
18and a shoestring I must walk across
19to reach the other corner
20of the room.
21I have forgotten about the beds
22in the neighbouring house.
23The suitcases underneath crammed with shadows.
24There is a drought in my throat
25when I think of them.
26When I answer before they can ask.
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
Special Copyright: 

Copyright © Jen Currin and used by permission of the poet. Authorization to republish this poem must be obtained from her in writing.