Alex Cigale
Tonight I saw the littlest bats imaginable

                        To Chava


Tonight I saw the littlest bats imaginable:
barely bigger than moths they fluttered
slashing sharp turns in the air at sunset
as though cavorting but in truth feasting
on the flying insects swarming the night
that commenced diffusing the day’s heat.
The buzz of the tiniest mosquitoes
kept me awake under the gorgeous stars.
Hiding my head and face under a blanket
I dozed leaving no quarter of skin exposed.
The mosquitoes droned on incorrigibly,
their buzzing intertwined, the pitch rising,
until it got too cold even for them,
they gave up and we all resumed to dream.

                        ***

The scorpions who write themselves across
the desert sands are kissing the cactuses.
The foxes, skulking across the mesas,
and the jackals, those kings of kings, dance
like tarantulas and the rows of crows,
cardinals wrapped in black robes of silence,
rest their weary necks wary of the vultures.
Mosquitoes that dart again in my ear
are taking lessons from the Lion of Dawn.
With a whoosh the white waters rush down
the wild cataracts that are always there.
On the morning of the fourth day the crowns
and the temples are fired by the first rays
of the sun. It is time to set off downstream.