When I opened my eyes today after a long sleep,
falling into which I do not remember –
like all the other times I have fallen asleep,
I realised I must itch my right arm.
The desire to itch was unending.
The only time I remember having a similar feeling
(the need to do something with utmost urgency)
was when I first made love,
or when I first ate mulberry plucked from my garden –
it is all the same –
the taste stays in the mouth long after you are done trying to acquire it;
the only difference being:
you can eat as many mulberries as you want,
while the frequency of love-making is not a figure I would like to bank upon,
so the yonderity of it, sometimes, makes it more desirable.
can be bought too –
only that the pleasure is different when they are plucked ripe from your garden –
the smell stays on the fingers, the flavour licked.
Perhaps this was the only thing I thought my life had to lead me to:
itch my right arm.
The itching was ought to be done,
and so it was.
My left arm found motion and within moments did my index finger
find the itching spot and committed the act.
There would be no greater agony than not yielding to that desire to itch;
had the itch gotten rid of itself in a moment or two,
I’d accuse my self of depriving me of pleasure out of sheer negligence,
and why must a man be so harsh and unkind to oneself?
My nails scratched the porous and hairy surface of my skin,
now tanned by my recent trip to a sunny and rocky place
(not that the tan made a significant change to my natural skin colour;
not that I am complaining about it either;
it is an observation which I thought I must make
and record for the times to come,
only I am not sure if they will care enough for the existense of this fact.
If they do not, it would not be a mournful loss for humankind to know
that on this particular day of the composition of this poem,
my skin was tanned).
It did not take me long to realise that my scratch had caused the death of a mosquito.
Death in the house –
To mourn the death of a nasty (widely considered) fly is not an act of post-modern times.
I understand this very well.
The blood stained the tip of my index finger and thumb –
dark red in colour –
it was my blood.
The mosquito lay still.
I had no bird so I could not feed the carcass of the insect to anyone –
consuming it myself would make me sick – this, I realised.
So I threw the tiny lifeless bloody mosquito out of the window.
And now it rests right under my window on a roof.
I hope the wind carries it away,
or the rain washes it down.
Perhaps I must get myself a mosquito net
or a mosquito repellent cream.
Art by Thomas Hirsz