I meant no disrespect to my body.Sleepless, I made my way to the outdoor showerhard rosebuds of insect bites rising. VitaminB, lavender oil, tea tree oil, Benadryl, nothing helped& nothing made me less of a feast to the predawnmosquitoes & fleas. Long ago I held a mesh bagseething w/ ladybugs, my first sense of wealth,all that luck at once, released on the backyard rosebush,tiny black mouths & bright buttery wingspinching aphids. I cannot drown beneath the waverof an outdoor shower, rubber sandals sucking againsta concrete drain, but I can try. Next to me a little girlshowers w/ her mother, tramping a plastic horsethrough the soap scum & fallenhair nests. The tiny cello of her body, like mine,is covered in itched welts, the shape of her lifesinging all around her, sunlight crashinginto the manchineel, itching & scratching,a beautiful sunburn, bee stings. I am strandedfrom her joy, the torn bag revealing its red bugs, theirblack mouths fastened to my body soresw/ hunger, w/ attentive love,call it what you want. [End Page 73]
Emily Vizzo is a San Diego poet, editor, and educator, whose work has appeared in FIELD, the Journal, North American Review, Blackbird, jubilat, and the Normal School. A San Diego Area Writing Project Fellow, Emily served as assistant managing editor at Drunken Boat and volunteers with vida, Poetry International, and Hunger Mountain. Her essay, "A Personal History of Dirt," was noted in Best American Essays 2013, and she was selected for Best New Poets 2015. She teaches creative writing at the University of California, San Diego Extension and yoga at the University of San Diego.