Grace

Aedes vexans

On the last day of summer, drifting
slow as hope through the thick air of evening,
she chances into a plume of CO2
and follows it upstream until she senses my arm’s
telltale heat. She hovers, then 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,
and I am here. Lord, I am here.

She is beautiful and blameless and 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
and sails off singing her single note.

Then comes a rapid patter across the field, the yard,
staccato on the porch roof and into the woods—
suddenly it’s pouring and the treetops are bending,
swaying under the weight of it
even before the first drops
penetrate all the way to 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.

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