What’s left behind
Is sometimes worse
Than the taking
I’ve gotten over
The ick factor
If flying mamas
Need a dab of
Blood for eggs
Their lives
Short and unfair
Go for it
Bite me
You deserve it
Live as long as u can
The lineage of
Soaks the rays
That’s kinda cool
DNA joining all
Sorts of creatures
In mothership bods
Traveling through
An even larger
Cultural bod(ies)
Hey yeah I know
Diseases are passed
Yes yes I know
It’s a drag
When a lack of
Invites tiny welts
But I’ll itch you
In a distracted way
And shove off
But like I said
It’s a passive act
Of sustaining some
Kind of life
When the bites
We leave behind
Take 1000+ years
To dismantle

Copyright © 2018 by Nikki Wallschlaeger. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 5, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“It was the middle of summer and the mosquitoes were in full swing. There's nothing you can do about it really; they have a right as much as anyone else. Though I'm not a fan of getting bit, it's the females that need the blood for their eggs. As a mothering body myself, it's the least I can do, and understanding the relationship between humans and mosquitoes in this way tends to make the itching less annoying."
—Nikki Wallschlaeger