The way the sticky air bathes me
in my own sweat, how my thighs glue
themselves to every seat, red and raw
when I rip them up like weeds.
The stubborn sun refuses to die,
forces me to be seen in my most
disgusting nakedness.
An orchestra of mosquitoes buzzes above
our heads, the song of the season
whipping past our ears.

“You’re all bitten up!” you cry,
tracing the hot welts along my leg,
a range of angry mountains erupting
on my tanned skin. Your fingers
come away wet and red, your eyes
drop to the knee-high grass.
The evidence is there beneath my fingernails;
I don’t know why you’re surprised.

I have always been bait for bloodsuckers,
an easy target, an endless source
for someone’s sick satisfaction. Even children
know that scratching makes the bites feel worse.
I want to make it worse.
I want to make it stop.
I want to make it hurt.

Tiny vampires sing their sleepy song,
hum satisfied sighs, their bellies full
with their share of me, and you
cannot look me in the eye. I reach down
to touch the blood, slippery on my skin,
wipe it up and smear it in the dirt.
There is a hole. I keep digging.