(When I was working on this poem I ran it through Translation Party and tweaked it. Sometimes I think I like this version best.)
. . .there is something that it is like to be a bat.
I find the clean air –this is
the starting point..
Here are the types of sound
floating insects make.
I have one in my mouth.
Or a chipmunk, rustic warmth of a hole
filled with nuts and seeds,
the smell of wet leaves and the world.
Or a wasp chewing the old railing,
carrying the pulp home and spitting it out,
building the layers
of my smothering and exquisite nest.
Or a wolf, in a whisper,
I have heard every turn of the deer.
I return to myself and wake up
in the scent. Or a porcupine,
shuffling in the forest without scruple.
Partridge–I am a great whirring,
wings open. A salamander
trying to comprehend the road.
I want to know what it is like
for a bat to be a bat,
a weasel itself, a whale,
the mind of a swarm of bees.
Oh, my little heart has limits!
Can you remember
what was it like to be a newborn–
a differentiation in the world
of its own sort of brain?
Do you even know what is it like to be yourself,
unconscious of nearly everything?