Hunger strikes, awakening you from slumber
As silent sounds echo in the cave.
Others of your family stir; they release their grip
and fall into flight, pouring out of the cave’s mouth,
Like a god belching out hordes of demons
They consume the sky and blot the moon.
Survival sending them to roam, hunting.
Any creature, an ox or a mouse,
Can provide you with food, as long as it lives
And breathes, and blood flows in its veins.

Leather, between outstretched arms,
Beating the warm air, keeps you aloft.
You search the sky and ground,
Screeching inaudibly. The signals return,
Bringing visions of a wasp and me.
You dart around the slow pest,
Feeling me, tied to a post,
Helpless to deny you a host.

You land less than a yard away;
My blood won’t clot, thinned by your spit,
Released without pain, by fangs so swift.
You struggle to match my moves,
Afraid of the blood you might lose.
If you go back to your nest before drinking of me,
Your babes will be unable to feed,
And soon, your kind will fade — fade into the night.

Flap your demonic wings in silent darkness;
I beckon you, Desmodus,
Let me see you before I die,
Either from disease (a gift from you?)
Or from bites. I cry,
Desmodus, let me see you before I die.

© 1993 David Carroll. All Rights Reserved.