Bat Ode

(Downtown Columbus, rush hour)

By Jeredith Merrin

(posted Wednesday, Feb. 25)

To hear the poet read “Bat Ode,” click.

Dead, of course, but with soft,
egg-sized black body and
scalloped, coal-satin wings–
so pretty, it was hard

not to be happy to
have the rare city sight
of it. Hyper-real
(the way death always is),

and mildly exotic;
a sidewalk frisson, break-
ing middle-aged boredom.
(Everyone, everyone

becomes predictable–
especially the young
rebels, so timidly

and the “mature” beige ones:
alike in their terror
of appearing foolish
at all costs, at great cost,

inestimable cost.)
The bat was new, intact.
Heart flutter suddenly
stopped, dropped to the pavement.

O Delicately Veined,
Neat Eared, Night Wandering.
Neither epiphanic
lark, nightingale, nor rook.