We gather from miles and miles with backpacks,
masks, children lugged on our shoulders. We assemble
from miles and miles by the hundreds
to the Colorado River in kayaks, canoes, and pontoon boats,
to watch the extraordinary show of bats— explode
into the pink sky, like blackfire,
from under the South Congress Bridge, in Austin.
And eight o’clock arrives… sunset arrives… nine o’clock arrives,
but what we believed would be a ten thousand bat show of black glitter,
turns out to be three or four bats dashing—
from under the bridge in a blur.
Then I stop for a minute, and I think for a minute: this is it, though not the explosion of blackfire we’d though it to be, this is it—
the extraordinary miracle of life, we’d all been waiting for.
Now that It's as Cold as It Gets
Now that it’s as cold as it gets in the Deep South,
think how the dead-doe hangs
from the hunters’ tailgate—
head, bobbing, down the highway…
When they get her home, hang her up
from rafters in the shed, they won’t understand
as blood drips from her pale tongue and pools
at their feet. But as they pull/ and pull/ and pull
—they’ll soon find out—
just how badly she wants to keep, her skin.
Ahrend Torrey enjoys exploring nature in Louisiana where he lives with his husband, their terriers, and their cat. He earned his MFA in creative writing from Wilkes University and is the author of Small Blue Harbor (Poetry Box Select).