Tadarida brasiliensis

Brazilian free-tailed bat
Rodrigo Figueroa



In the beginning, there was silence,

but your spirit was moving over the mountains,

flapping your wings among air splinters.

And you spoke. Nobody heard your voice,

but it didn’t matter, because we had no language.

Slaves to the ground, we thought you hadn’t said anything.

Deaf and blind, we thought you hadn’t forged the mountains.

But you spoke and there were mountains. You spoke

and there were cacti and clouds, boulders and us.


In other lands you would’ve been crucified.

You, the blind. You, the fanged mouse.

But there’s no land for you because your words

generate the sand, the sky, the heavens.


You shriek silence, give us mothers and fathers.

Children will hunt you without realizing

You Are Who You Are.

I am not me, but eternally your unknown flight,

your silent call to be there.




Rodrigo Figueroa is an Assistant Professor of Spanish at New Mexico State University. He has published two books of poetry in Mexico and one in the United States. He is also a playwright and has published several short stories. His interests as a creative writer include mysticism, social spaces, and corporeality.