As a child I practically lived outside in the summer. We had no air conditioning then so we survived by staying outside. I remember getting mosquito bites, but it was no big deal. Sadly, in recent years, mosquito bites have become a big deal producing huge welts and frantic itching that even awakens me from sleep. So imagine my indignation when I was attacked by a mosquito the other night as I slept.
I thought of this incident when Christie Wyman (you can find her here) challenged a small group of poets to write a poem from another’s perspective. At first, I found it difficult to think of an object, a character, or a person whose perspective I could take. Then, I started scratching again and my topic became clear. Here is a draft of that poem:
Self-Talk of a Mosquito
I’ve been through a lot already in my life.
I’ve escaped dragonflies from above
and fish from below.
Now it’s my turn to feast.
Oh my…I’ve caught you sleeping.
Where should I begin?
First, let me just slide in here
Between your fingers…
This skin is thin—such a tender, delicate spot.
Here come the scratchers.
That was fast.
I’d better move on.
What about that sleek forearm
or the squishy spot on your tricep?
Can I possibly penetrate those tense, tight trapezius muscles?
I’m going to try. Here goes!
Good thing you’re still sleeping and don’t notice my voice.
This muscle is tough, but
you won’t miss the tiny bit of blood I take.
You’ll know I’ve been here
By the spit I leave behind.
It’s just a little anticoagulant to thin your delicious blood.
Scratching again? Scratching still?
Antihistamines, I’ve heard, might help.
You’ve been a most gracious host.
August 4, 2021