I Watched a Bat Kill Itself in Yuma
because of the heat. It flew purposefully into a metal sign, & we splashed it with water to cool it down, revive it. The water hit the concrete in a sizzle like a sigh while another 1999 girl stays unidentified, although her new name is something like Homicide. Yuma County Jane Doe. State of Remains: Not recognizable—traumatic injuries. I see she lassoed the moon & stars around her neck, & now it makes sense why Arizona has had record-breaking heat. The planes can’t even fly. No one makes the connection between the way she preserves the galaxy & heat’s lack of mercy. Like Mars, her face freckled with blood. Once the bat’s eyes opened, we gave it some water to drink, but then it drowned itself. She keeps the darkness, & we stretch the universe like polymer. If we press putty to a newspaper, will it pick up the print? All this time, we’ve been afraid of the headline, but not the impenetrable smudge that’s left.
Iliana Rocha's "I Watched a Bat Kill Itself in Yuma" can also be read in the print edition of The Arkansas International 4.
Iliana Rocha has been featured in the Best New Poets 2014 anthology, as well as The Nation, RHINO, Blackbird, and West Branch. Karankawa, her debut collection, won the 2014 AWP Donald Hall Prize for Poetry and is available through the University of Pittsburgh Press. She is currently an assistant professor of creative writing at the University of Central Oklahoma and lives with her three chihuahuas Nilla, Beans, and Migo.