The White Bat

by Lynn Finger


I didn’t know I wouldn’t see you again. After they told me
you were gone, I saw a white bat cling to the back screen,

prehistoric and wrong but signifying something: that life was
still working on it, wings and eyes and pollen. When I go

to see it, it launches into me, crepe wings, claw marks on the air,
shreds the warm night with its velvet squeaks, studded with dewy

ornaments. We knew you wouldn’t get better, but we didn’t know
how long. Why do we think darkness disappears with our experience?

Language is bitter. Outside by the elm tree, my chocolate lab
wants to prize the bat in his mouth, brown like dead sunflower stems.

The bat seeks a landing like I do, to know it’s right where it needs
to be, like a planet or waterfall, as hewed as last words to a loved one.

At our last visit, everything that could have been said, already was.
I try to think of you without regret, or wondering, and focus on our

last time, the bigness of silence. After last words, everything is peeled.
There is nothing deeper. We stitch into the night with silver eyes.

I search and zig zag for what makes sense. I seek to protect
the thinness of life, the near fallen hopes, of the blue razor sky.

Lynn Finger’s writings have appeared in 8Poems, Perhappened, Book of Matches, Fairy Piece, Drunk Monkeys, and Anti-Heroin Chic. Lynn also has a poetry chapbook released this year, The Truth of Blue Horses, published by Alien Buddha Press. She was nominated for 2021 and 2022 Best of the Net Anthology. Lynn edits Harpy Hybrid Review and works with a group that mentors writers in prison. Her Twitter is @sweetfirefly2.