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The Bat by Dan Taulapapa McMullin

Once upon a time in old Pulotu
there were two fa'afafines named Muli and Lolo.
Lolo was very pretty but Muli knew how to talk.
Every night they walked the beaches looking for sailors.
In those days everyone in Pulotu was a sailor.
When they found one they had their way with him
because they never did each other:
one of those things.
because the islands used to be dens of cannibalism,
one of them hit the nodding sailor with a rock,
and they devoured him.
They did this until there were no more young men left
on their particular island.
In fact around this time
Lolo had really learned everything she would from Muli,
and Muli was starting to desire Lolo,
so they did each other; but afterwards Lolo killed Muli
and devoured her
as people who come to one for advice will.
This act made the gods very angry with Lolo;
so for punishment they turned her into a bat.

For years Lolo flew up and down the beach at night
on little leather wings.
There were no young men
until finally the Americans landed.
Lolo's first white man,
but she knew a sailor when she saw one.

Lolo sunk her teeth into the sailor's fat neck
and the sailor fainted.
Then Lolo drank until she got plump and passed out.
When she woke up she was in a basket aboard ship
and ended up at the University of Minnesota Medical School
where she was given a nice warm cage by a local foundation.

One day
I am not sure how but I'll let you know,
she escaped.
It was the especially cold winter of '94;
eighteen ninety-four.
Lolo flew above the buildings
and south over the pale northern Mississippi River landscape.
It was snowing
and everything was white.
Suddenly far below he saw something in black leather.
Flying down he discovered a boot
that some young man had left there the previous summer
along with his glasses and a pair of shorts he had lost
along the river bank
while walking to the corner store late one night
to fetch a bottle of milk for the wife and five kids.

By now Lolo's wings had frozen and she was stuck.
She was in love with the black leather boot
although it didn't speak
and she couldn't eat it.
She didn't think she could eat it
and love it.
The snow kept falling
until it covered them both like a blanket.

-Dan Taulapapa McMullin

Fa'afafine: a two-spirited man from Samoa
Pulotu: the Samoan land of spirits



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 26th, 2006 07:18 pm (UTC)
(great poem btw)

Just read this today and it reminded me of you:

now easier to get an IUD, perhaps...

If you do: start taking iron supplements beforehand and stick with them.

Dec. 27th, 2006 12:43 am (UTC)
Re: OT
Um, ok.


Who is this?
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )