Friday, June 12, 2009

Thou Shalt Not Suck My Blood, Impart Rash or Lay their Eggs on my Scalp

It’s barely the second week of a Tennessee June.
In the ninety degree humidity,
I’m swearing it off already.
Mosquito bites, scabbed and rescabbed,
turn my olive-colored, deet-slathered skin into
an ill-humored, greasy, polka-dotted print
of marks, left by little, greedy mouths.
Ticks, that teeth-first took the plunge to suck,
unnoticed, on the blood of my thigh,
till I yanked them, pinched their
pulsing heads between my fingernails,
staining my fingertips with blood
they robbed my body of,
without asking first.

I am not a happy camper.
In fact, I’m not camping at all.
And how could I have waited till now to mention
the poison ivy that has brought my left eye
to a swollen and crusty puss of an image.
Excuse me for hiding from the camera,
beneath layers of cortisone and menthol toothpaste.
And NO, dear gas- station-lady, my dead beat boyfriend
did not show me a thing or two.
Been there, done that already,
but thank you.
And besides, I don’t do the boy thing anymore.

And I’ve tried all the creams, the creative concoctions
that promise soothing relief-
Cool hummus slathers, fresh aloe, and calamine,
of whose bottle instructions ALL read:
Not for use in or around the eye.
Fuck them-
What do they know of this itching,
of my own body’s quest for relief?

I squint and twist my face into aweful
facial acrobatics,
road-kill contortions,
do anything but
scratch that horrible
menace of an itch.
Did I mention I sleep with cortisone beneath my pillow?
Mention that I roll my eyeball in circles,
like Halloween googly eyes,
bloodshot, to scratch the poison?
If it would not blind me and
result in ultimate conviction to an insane asylum,
I swear I’d stick needles into the ball,
voodoo-doll style them straight into
the socket,
nail down the source,
put it FINALLY to rest.
Instead I squirm like pinned down prey,
flustered beneath the droning sounds
of annoying little bug wings that haunt me
and grow in number.
Yes, the clichéd image of ants in my pants
is utterly perfect.-
That’s me, walking down the street like
I’m feening for crack,
twitching for no obvious reason,
twitching for the occasion of this body,
dare I say- MY body
that I would pay money
to abort out of.
It has been taken over.
Excuse ME for residing here.
I’ll just pack my bags and go now.

Infested, rashed, scab-mapped
prison of a body.
I swat, I swear, I sit on my hands,
And NO citronella candle
can help me now.

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