The ab boat Breaksea, out of Dover, rides at anchor.
She slaps and gurgles a soporific counterpoint
to the charged airs of the bay’s past.
In the for’ard cabin
I would sleep the night away, content.
I am foiled by mosquitoes.
They zip hither, veer there,
shicker, zimmer, cantilever
in staccato, life-preserving erratics.
Sometimes I win.
They squish to soup.
Reserve squadrons spiral down.
Sometimes I lose.
I drop my guard, the hunted wheels as hunter
and zeroes in, all needling malevolence.
Ready to hand is Eating Bread and Honey, by Pattiann Rogers.
Pliant, whippy poetry, it is my secret weapon.
Insect pulp punctuates the bulkhead.
We adore them and we curse
them. We caress them and we ravish them.
Rogers tells us so in ‘Animals and People’.
We will never, we cannot
leave them alone, even the tiniest one, ever, because we know
we are one with them. Their blood is our blood.
On deck the sleepy glug and slap
has given way to small, fumerolic plops,
watery nasal snorts, sudden bangs and scrapes.
I suspect a sea rolling in. Don’t move you little bastard.
They are among us and within us and of us:
Here is torment beyond endurance. I flee.