The Bat

The Bat

by Ella Truesdale


In the bitter city sky-tang

I taste the fresh scent of freedom

My prospects stretch before me

Instead I roost in my room.


I hang upside down from my bed

Oilslick hair in my eyes

Languid blood rushes to ear-tips

Lashes crust from tears I can't cry.


City, you are young and old

You have housed the worst of thieves

Your smog has wrapped my brain

Your bright lights do lure and deceive


Like smiles I zip across my lips.

My mother fusses and licks me clean

Her voice echoes round the room

I cannot hear a thing.


Echolocation, I damn you.

Why does the world speak

When I won't listen?

I think the colony is asleep.


So I pray for the sun to die.

Once its glaring pupil shuts

No one may see me

So they may be silent, but


I must, must learn to scream.

My wing-bones creak with rust

My heart putters and squeaks

My mind longs to stretch back in the dust.


The sky is laden with foul smoke

The moon provides no light

The buildings' glow is false fire

But there will be no better night.


Into the neon-cloud night I fly

From heavy earth I claw free

Velvet-winged upon the warm winds

No soothing sleep may have me.