Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Self Portrait As Bitten By Mosquitoes

Nightfall, sundown,
dusk, the gloaming,
(as my husband calls it),
twilight, the time you most
want to be outside, perhaps
waiting for the song
of the ice cream truck,
playing a hijinx of hopscotch,
or enjoying a drink on the patio,
you hear their high whine.

Oh the grey clouds that hover
over the pond, or malinger
in damp grasses, or damnedest of all
they slip into the house through
torn screens. Blood bandits.
I’ve fought them all my life.
They love my 98.6 degrees
of Type A positive.

“All mosquitoes that bite you
have your name,” said
my grandfather one summer
when I was poxed with bites
so badly I got a fever.

Last night I caught one
poised by my face, eye-to-eye,
taking my temperature
as I brewed tea,
and I brought my hands
together in a smack so loud
and sharp my palms rang
out like church bells,
a holy palmers' kiss.

When I opened
the book of my hands
there was this text
you read now
written sanguine,
the poem of me.

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