Tuesday Poem

Quiet Night
Robert Wrigley

The bat's opened thorax blips

—that's its heart

beating, says the child—and its mouth bites at

the air, and the cat

that brought it down sits two steps below

and preens, while the pale cone

shed by the porch light makes and remakes itself

with the shadows of miller, moth, and midge.

Listen, the darkness just under the stars

is threaded with passings:

nighthawks and goatsuckers, the sleepy respirations of the forest,

and the owl that asks first for a name,

then leaves its spar

and spreads a silence

so vast and immobile

you can hear whole migrations inside it,

the swoons, the plummets, the bland ascensions

of souls.