The Kiss of Death*OR* Don't Let the Bedbugs Bite

by Alex Smyth

In the witching hour~
When the soft grey blanket
Of our black and white world
enfolds you, enfolds me...

The crazy quilt pattern of
Blending into nightshade
Draws my senses to your soft, warm face,
Half moon lashes, sweet rythmic breath.

I do not take without giving.

As I drink I leave a promised certainty-
Tho the flush may recede,
The fever diffuse into sweat, molecules, atoms-

The certainty is this:
Your body will one day awaken to
What you thoughtlessly brushed away.


Author's Note: *The Kissing Bug drops onto a sleeping person's face, pierces the skin and while filling itself with blood discharges parasite-laden waste. Yet sleeping, the victim may scratch,rubbing the feces into the skin opening. Within weeks a fever will develop and pass. But the parasites may lie unnoticed for up to 20 years, arising one day to attack the victim's internal organs, death usually being the result. This widespread problem in Latin America is known as Chagas' Disease.(Now, what were YOU thinking?)

Posted on 05/17/2003
Copyright © 2023 Alex Smyth

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Ashok Sharda on 05/17/03 at 02:28 AM

There are no short cuts to any problem. This may lead to impossible situations. The msg. is said in no uncertain words and is applicable in any life situation.

Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 05/17/03 at 06:50 PM

Gross...but thanks for the enlightened warning. Glad I don't live in Central America! :oD

Posted by Quentin S Clingerman on 05/17/03 at 07:50 PM

You've caught the trauma of a dread disease most vividly and poignantly.

Posted by Mara Meade on 05/19/03 at 05:53 AM

Oh.. the layers here... Smyth, this is incredible.

Posted by Philip F De Pinto on 05/28/03 at 11:32 AM

the poem cascades of it's waters and we with our souls gaped are all enlightened.

Posted by Max Bouillet on 07/14/03 at 03:50 PM

Okay... it was very sensual --until I read the footnote. Okay just to let ya know, again --it was very sensual ---until I read the footnote. Yuck.

Posted by Michele Schottelkorb on 05/22/04 at 07:06 PM

wow, you deliver this so well... i have never read in poetry of the beg bugs and their kiss of death... this is brilliancy... sheer brilliancy... blessings..

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