Trimming, redesigning. Making lists. Mosquito bites.
Three on my leg, the back of the calf. One today right under the knuckle of my middle finger on my right hand, how the hell did that happen?
Then, on the other hand, while I am reading, no less, not sticking my face into the strawberry patch to gather the red gold that has not been munched by baby black slugs the size of a block-printed comma, or something larger, or turned into squish by strawberry replacement therapy thanks to the rainy period which precedes what has now become the hot spell; no, nor gathering my rosebuds where I may, a stickery sort of business though the roses are better this year than ever, so how can I complain if the thorns are also more valiant?; nor even trying to make the occasional desert bloom by some new inspiration, transplantation, or expenditure of time and money, turning my hads to dirt and leaving my ragged garden gloves to imprint in the rain an outline of their overworked selves in dirty runoff against the smooth gray of the piled-up roof slates…
No, not in any of these manners,
But merely sitting on a white plastic chair reading a novel about clouds of insects descending from the sky when the wind blows in the from the forest,
Reminding myself at frequent intervals that the place I visit between the pages
Is not the place where I live; where I live is a place that suffers three-day sieges of high heat and humidity about once on an average summer, though admittedly those non-average summers linger in the memory.
And where even then I can recline in a chair on a paved surface
And a read a book,
And somehow not notice that a rather tiny black mosquito with that exaggerated proboscis that makes this creature look like the villain in some children’s story,
As if Pinocchio could never quit the lying gig and so ended up frozen, wooden, frail and monstrously long-nosed, so pathetic that is that some exaggerated Principle of Selection shrunk his size
And offered him wings for some slight chance of bloody survival
And so he does.
And so this creature which I somehow fail to notice has already begun
To siphon off my blood
Before I notice him and put an end to his atavistic pleasure
While splashing his bloody beverage, which of course is my bloody substance once removed, over the back of one hand and the fingers of the other
And consequently when minutes later I spill a little spot of vanilla ice cream
(Have I mentioned the ice cream?) And need to mop it off my one hand with the fingers of the other
I am now tasting my own drawn blood
With that red, metallic, fervent aftertaste which seem to tell us all,
in so many words, though without words at all, that
Here is the essence of carnal.