Marianne Boruch

August 12, 2015 Boruch Marianne



swoops high, webbed little arms for
not quite a figure-8, prefers
a big room, out open windows into dark’s
usual happiness,
insects for supper, where roost–

So much light in here, sealed shut awful,

the bat’s radar
screwed up by fear and its
haywire.  A drunken spree: what they said–
old movies, the gray
of black and white, actors thin,
elegant, looking out

to a garden without color,
drawing delicately on cigarettes to take apart
the incident, to underscore,
to amuse–the falling down, the blurting out.
Martinis in hand, just a splash, an olive.

Wayward whirl of

smoke on set–the director too,
the cameramen, even
the best boy-not-a-boy.  What passed for
having a thought, the deep drag
to take warmth into the lungs, the glance up

to consider release, the meaning in

a glass broken, whether roses, how to figure
who’s standing where
shocked, at what. Not the bat,
real. Or the blind

infinity he comes from, my human

sick at heart–don’t I know him by heart?–
suspended, shrunk to the net as
the long pole comes down,

expatriate, sharp-toothed dazed messenger.

Marianne Boruch was the Jennifer Jahrling Forese Writer-in-Residence
this past spring at Colby College. Her 11th poetry collection is
Bestiary Dark (Copper Canyon Press, 2021). A fourth
book of essays—Sing by the Burying Ground—will be published
by Northwestern University Press next year.