Baring It

Of building tolerance and grace.

A Hundred Falling Veils

Over time, the body,

when bitten enough,

can build up a tolerance

to mosquito bites

so that they no longer itch.

Then—though you might

be bitten a hundred times

on each arm

and again on each leg—

you won’t be bothered.

This comes to mind

when you walk in the store

and see by chance the person

whose words and glares have bitten you

ten thousand times before.

Shit. You forgot your long sleeves.

But this time, when you leave

the coffee aisle where you’ve both

been perusing the dark roast,

you notice nothing.

Nothing at all. No rise.

No ire. No welt. No itch.

No need to swat. No need to scratch.

Nothing at all. And you laugh

and wonder if the laugh is disguising

a pain response, but no,

you’re just laughing

because you’re proof that sometimes

after having been bitten enough

a tolerance comes—

and it doesn’t…

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