Us backwoods kids were taught early to harness the light;
trapping fireflies in jars, stabbing lids with screwdrivers.
_________________________Because mercy can be letting something breathe.
And we all remember the first time we were old enough
____________to light the fireworks ourselves.
_________________________When we learned how light brings faces skyward.
But trapping the night is trickier. There is more to the secret; something like dark
_______that can chase you up the stairs at night, make spots in your photographs.
_____________________________________________Something that makes noises
And so, when the greyfolks on the old farms run out of plates to shoot,
or light to see the plates, floodlights burnt out or broken or cut-off,
___________________they hunt down their tackleboxes and poles,
____________________________________________and go bat-fishing.
It’s an evil sport, like soothsaying. Begging the dark to tell you something.
The closer you are to the night, the more it understands you. The closer you get
_________________________________________________________to catching it.
It’s like fly-fishing: Use a light hook and the strongest line you’ve got.
I’ve heard of a paperclip and bubble-gum, but these guys are liars.
Whip it around a bit. Make the night think the hook is something with wings.
_______________________________________When you catch one, you’ll know.
_______________________________________Reel it in. Prepare for a fight.
___________________________You should at least have some gloves on.
_______It should sound like teeth.
_______Like flags made of leather. _______Some scientists suspect eating bats causes
_____________________________________diseases we haven’t found causes for.
The meat is tough, and in such small portions. So give it back.
We evolved from bats.
_________________________Born from dark birds that live in the dirt.
_______________________________________________Dark birds with teeth.
You hold the beast in your right hand, part its jaws with your finger and thumb.
_____________With the left hand, go into the mouth,
_____________slip the hook out with a flick of the wrist like striking a match.
_____________Toss it back to the night. Watch the black dissolve.
____________________Show mercy to the darkness
____________________that has shown you none.
You can bear to part with it.