Three Poems by Larry D. Thomas

Vampire Bats
(Houston Zoo)

The thick glass
which seals the mouth
of their dark little cave,
suffused with the dull,
incarnadine glow
of a red bulb, is smudged
with the grease of children.

At feeding time,
though they feast
daintily as debutantes
sipping soup from their spoons,
lapping the blood of cattle
from the shallow lids of jars,
people rush to their cave

as if to a scream of fire,
scrambling for position,
shoving, elbowing
and crushing the toes
of three-year-olds
to see the cruel freak show
of caged lives.


The Sea

Some call it ocean,
bounding main,

or briny deep.
Asteroids envy

the stony backs
of its crabs.

Its fish
are angels,

and its stars
crawl upon the sand.


The Rain

keeps falling,
each of its drops
the little, crystal fist
of a god:

keeps falling
as if from nowhere,
streaming down
the windowpanes:

a million rivered mirrors
quaking with faces,
each of which is nothing
but a matter of water

tinged with minerals,
imbued for a while
with the insubstantial
miracle of breath.


Larry D. Thomas is a member of the Texas Institute of Letters and served as the 2008 Texas Poet Laureate. He has published twenty-three collections of poems, including As If Light Actually Matters: New & Selected Poems (Texas A&M University Press, 2015).

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