Saturday, May 15, 2021

Poem: "Hercules and a Bat" by Alison Stone

Hercules and a Bat
Alison Stone

Upstairs, the lovers start to fight again.
Rough morning sun slaps me with light again.
Whimpers, twitching paws – my ancient hound tracks
prey in dreams. Hares scared of his bite again.
Passion pales to habit. Sleep sweeter than
sex. AM radio sounds trite again.
Torso sewn closed, each breath makes fresh scars throb.
Death real now. How to trust delight again?
Hercules labors, haunted by his dead
wife’s eyes. Some things can’t be made right again.
Manners drop off in darkness. Hungers wake.
Daylight – masks on, polite lies. Night again.
Family visit. Forced cheer stretches, then
breaks. Childhood rivalries ignite again.
Harvested, her heart pumps in another.
Eyes give a blinded child sight again.
How much can heal with lips on scars? A letter?
Time? The mended bat takes flight again.
Years stack up like bills. She hugs familiar
sorrow, her soul a tree-trapped kite. Again,
crooned promises, torn-off clothes. Kisses down
to the bone. The smudged world glows bright again.
Another explosion of stuffing. More
dead pillows. The pit bull contrite again.
Your love’s in the other room, Alison.
Are you hiding from life to write, again?

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