Will Cordeiro: Bats

Inside the cave the whole horde’s hung. 
Asleep, they’re like a butchers’ rack of meat; 
newborns dangling inside thin wings’ 
furred sacs, they wake—pulse—squirm. 

Stalagmites bud with drips. A tunnel chokes, 
a ragged snag rips out its gaping mouth: 
smug, crinkled mugs all snuffle up, up 
into the shrieking light to seek the thrill, 
the thrall of blood. Stained evening ravens 

down a wrinkled brainwave’s cloud-ravine. 
The bats swim heaven’s airy flesh, pressed 
so flush you’d think it flayed. Each witch raids 
the excess recesses of space, switchblades; 

whipsaws: dark paper dolls, which scissor- 
slip a self-made maze, tilt off, loft up; crizzle, 
sprawl. Seasick within a blizzard’s scree, thick 
scud, quick tricks of ether, dragons drugged, 
they circle back, flit, trip, and fling; berserk— 

undertows of thrash and shuffle, bare hustled 
flak. Hell-bent, the dazzled flock’s mass muscles 
out through mizzle. Each whorling ear pricks 
up and swells. A rush of thunderheads, stunned  

over-reach, jerrybuilt as each dead soul is spilt 
and ferries off across the ruts along some pitch, 
riddled by the foretaste of what they are about 
to bite into: hides where fangs will dart, plunge 
tiny needle-teeth in any stung ripe seething bull’s 

-eye, sipping up its sap. This mad besotted pack 
of Huns fall as one body, down and down, to nip   
and suckle. They grip the flesh, they feast—attack 
a beast, which buckles, cries, and almost drowns.


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