The Mosquito Bite by Mary Block


I said, trust me like the little dog has to,
having been so denatured. Having so little
to do with a wolf. Follow me
and make a home where the weather hums,
where the leaves grow monster-wide.
In a city slipping, feet-first, into the sea.
Like you I put my faith in larvicide and lizards,
in the tongues of frogs. I built a house
from salt and fossil shells.

Outside the bullfrog sings for his bride,
for the mouse and the limp-tailed rat.
The tail of a cat or some animal flicks
at the slats of our bedroom window.

I told our boy, in so many words, the fate of foxes.
I told him the tree frog is a friend—
that even poison has its place.
But still he woke with a red ring rising
from his side.

A ring of roses is either an amulet
or a nothing. Either way
I hung a wreath outside our door.
I said trust me like the little dog has to.
Trust me, son, to be the mother
that all soft animals require
and the little dog laughed.


MARY BLOCK lives and writes in her hometown of Miami, Florida. Her poems have been featured or are forthcoming in Nimrod International Journal and Sonora Review, among others. She is a graduate of NYU’s Creative Writing Program, a 2012 Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship finalist, and a Pushcart Prize nominee.