Louise Gluck




Bats

—for Ellen Pinsky

Concerning death, one might observe
that those with authority to speak remain silent:
others force their way to the pulpit or
center stage—experience
being always preferable to theory, they are rarely
true clairvoyants, nor is conviction
the common aspect of insight. Look up into the night:
if distraction through the sense is the essence of life
what you see now appears to be a simulation of death, bats
whirling in darkness— But man knows
nothing of death. If how we behave is how you feel,
this is not what death is like, this is what life is like.
You too are blind. You too flail in darkness.
A terrible solitude surrounds all beings who
confront mortality. As Margulies says: death 
terrifies us all into silence.