What Rough Beast | Poem for September 8, 2018

Quintin Collins
The Mosquito Speaks of Protest

As the sun recedes, we
cluster into funnel clouds. We
pulse toward populations
to take blood. Those who swat us,
cock their spray canisters
to stilt our kin, sterilize our mothers:
We smolder their flesh. We
rise, skyward spirals
to swell twilight. We
disrupt picnics and receptions. We
needle beneath skin.
No citronella torch sentries quell
our protest. No blue lights zap. We
buzz ears with our message. We
mobilize in their neighborhoods. We
chant vibration. Our swarms churn. We
are a throbbing silhouette. We
reverberate for stripped wings,
ladybugs crushed in careless hands,
crickets crumpled beneath boots,
ant colonies scorched with lighter fluid,
butterflies choked in killing jars. We
bite for every pill bug too policed
by fear to unfurl. Let them come
with their OFF! and their bug bombs.
Let them come with their nets
and their body armor. We will meet them
at their baseball games. We will meet them
at their music festivals. We will meet them
at their rooftop bars, their barbecues,
and their July Fourth fireworks. We
gather in their suburbs, their cities, their yards,
and their country clubs. When they see
us coming, fistfuls of shadow at dusk, we
will leave welts for everyone of us
they ever crushed.

Quintin Collins has works that have appeared or are forthcoming in Threshold, Glass Mountain, Eclectica, Transition, and elsewhere. A graduate of the Solstice MFA program, Quintin is a managing editor at a digital marketing agency, where he publishes writing craft blogs. If Quintin were to have one extravagance, it would be a personal sommelier to give him wine pairings for books.

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