Vespertine

— Colin Bailes

Nightjars erupt from longleaf
at feeding-hour,

crepuscular; free-tailed bat
choreography in a Delft-blue sky,

black shroud alighting on wind.
Like a shade, my hunger

follows me, clings like sandbur.
Sowthistle in the prairie,

whorled pennywort,
button snakeroot, deer tongue.

When I stand in open field,
in bright sunlight, I cast no shadow—

craving comes later.
In the twilit mind, flock outlines

sweep across plumegrass,
hunting by dusklight. My hunger

four o’clock flower,
evening primrose, nightshade.


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