Darren and I weren’t the world’s most romantic pair, so I wanted to play with some pretty unromantic imagery (swarming bats, Yeats’s grimmest of many grim poems) and how love finds unlikely ways to assert itself where the obvious ones aren’t available.
Early drafts included an actual “letter” in the form of interspersed prose snippets. Somewhere around the third draft, I realized they were getting in the way of the poem, not supporting it.
Letter on the Eve of a Wedding
We’d walked most of the way to the caves
In the blackberry tangle, had turned
Back because the path was treacherous
After dark. Suddenly you folded
Me against you and a soundless voice
And whirring of wings a foot above
Our heads signaled the bats pouring from
The caves, a cloud of needle teeth and
The hissing of air over leather
Like the sound of breath being stolen.
I breathed your strength instead as their gyre,
Worthy of Yeats’s falcon, doubled
And redoubled on itself into
A density that radiated
A dim tide of darkness and silence.