BLOODSUCKER

dad tells the story: ohio deepwood, him and his brother

little league helmet-clad, tossing stones into the inky sky

until a bat, gravity-lashed, swoops down in their wake,

thinking the ordinary shapes horseflies or sweat bees or hawk

moths, and yes, i can imagine the thrill when the whip

of wind cracked past their necks, when the promised pain

just missed, but i still have a gnawing sort of pity for any

other creature who darts towards the first shrouded wonder

moving in the dark, who throws its whole self at hunger without

fear of breaking teeth, who hopes the wonder might keep it

alive, who doesn’t know, or hasn’t considered, that every frantic

shadow exists only to watch something want.