A bat got caught in my mother’s black
bathing suit as it hung on the line.
The bat was a breast, her fluttering
heart, then a lump in the belly,
beating mound between
the legs, each chirping set
of lips, statue in which
a woman’s genitalia
and mouth are reversed.
I watched from inside as waves
transmitted through fabric,
little mites rode
in the bat’s fur,
parasitic as children.
Then the bat flew through
an armhole and the suit was quiet,
vacant. If a way out existed,
so did a way to touch her again.
“Vacation” first appeared in Bellingham Review, Fall 2003.