never once tasting human blood

December 16, 2013 § Leave a comment

The boy didn’t feel the brown recluse
readying to bite his left ankle
or hear the mosquito with designs on the white of his right wrist.

He didn’t sense there was a copperhead
sliding into her den three feet away,
or that the mouse she was digesting was pregnant.

He is unaware that the shit
smeared in the grooves of his new shoes is that of Darryl Jones,
or that it contains traces of blood Darryl is afraid to ask about.

There is a slight dandelion stain
smeared down the back of the boy’s shirt.
It will neither come out nor be noticed.

Darryl will be dead in five years,
following two rounds of chemo and remission,
drowning off the coast of Northern California on vacation.

In a month, the copperhead will be eaten by raccoons
washed from their den by rain a week ago.
The mosquito bite will itch for two days.

The spider, only passing through, was lost on its way.
It will live the rest of its life, who knows how long,
never once tasting human blood.

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