Pipistrelli

The entryway always smelled like something rotten
in late summer. We didn’t have time to
do more than wrinkle our noses, Billy and me,
those double-glass doors with the wire inside
were just part of the distance
between mom’s apartment and the street outside,
like the torn and curled rubber on the stairwell
like the scary old woman who yelled at us in Italian
while we played stickball.

When Leon got his head put through the drywall
I was the one who found him the next morning
when I brought the trash downstairs. His head was
still stuck through like you do at the strong-man
cut-out at the amusement park. The cops
hauled him out and he was laid out in a suit I hadn’t
known he’d owned next time I saw him.

When the man came to fix the hole, he tore out
the whole wall and found a pile of bat skeletons
rattled together in a skein of bones with one
live bat on top.


None of these this week have been any good, but they do have potential. The biggest problem with this one is that it doesn’t have a point, although I think there are glimmers of one. It is loosely based on actual bats that lived [and regularly died] in the entryway of my house on Stoneybrook Lane. The crazy Italian grandmother was real too.