The Fruit Bats
Broomstick hags in a storm cloud’s wake
caress the night sky like phantoms on glass.
They fall to the grove by the baker’s dozen,
wings flapping like a dancing crone’s breasts,
then plunge down the canopy, groping at orbs
that sag on the branches or rot in dry grass.
Their short, shrivelled faces nuzzle with joy
the fermenting nipples of a pulpy largesse.
Each gives a shrill cry to the sweetness, the rot,
& the ripe aftertaste of a milky-white zest.
what’s a horse’s never-ending sanity good for,
& yours, your high spirits encumbered anew
with, you want it in a word, try diffidence,
preaching down the cornfield, your soapbox askew
but the cows are unperturbed, the crows unruffled,
the horse slumps in its barn, written off as glue
so you daydream a mortgage, some windless grass,
tall skies & windmills—the sparkle of dew
reflects off erupting weeds like intentions
you tug at, but that horse is not budging for you
scoured by frost & the freeze-dried wind,
the shrubs stand resolute, their thorns thrust
against a midnight sun, a day’s migration,
& a hoofed fraternity pissing out its musk
summer’s flesh moves under a ghost moon
across the greensward’s pale & petulant flush
you know this plain’s heresies, its swift horns—
its hoarse, throaty bellows when they rear & rush
so what drops to the pit of your stomach each time
you watch dawn tumble from the aborting dusk
David Jalajel is the author of Moon Ghazals (Beard of Bees Press, 2009), a full length poem in Sapphic stanzas entitled Cthulhu on Lesbos (Ahadada Books, 2011), and a chapbook in Dan Waber’s This is Visual Poetry series (2013). His work has appeared in a number of online and print journals, including Otoliths, Shampoo, experiential-experimental-literature, Recursive Angel, and The New Post-Literate. Poems in the “qasida” series have appeared in past issues of The Ghazal Page as well as in Anti-, Lynx, and Mizna.