Aedes vexans

*
Grace

On the last day of summer,
drifting slow as hope through
the thick air of evening

she chances into
the plume of CO2 from
my breath, follows it upstream

to my arm’s telltale heat.
She hovers, then slowly sinks
the last few inches straight

down into my pelt with all
her landing gear extended,
proboscis going into the skin even

as the slight craft of her body
still rides the hairs down,
her feet stretching one

by one down, down,
& I am here.
Lord, I am here.

She is beautiful & blameless
& I in a mood to share
the beer in my veins, watching

as her banded
abdomen turns dark, inflates.
A long minute later

she pulls out, rises unsteadily
& sails off singing
her single note.

Then comes a rapid patter across
the field, the yard, staccato
on the porch roof &

into the woods – suddenly
it’s pouring & the treetops
are bending, swaying under

the weight of it
before the first drops reach
the forest floor.

A wheal rises where
the mosquito took the only
blood supper of her

purposeful life. While I sit
waiting for God knows what
it has fallen to me,

what she no longer needs:
the goad of her saliva.
Her fierce itch.
__________

For a place-based essay on mosquitoes by another central Pennsylvania writer, see here.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave's writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the "share alike" provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

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