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.
Daily.
Yes, the clich├ęd 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.