Itch And Ire.

Over time, when bitten enough,
The body can build up tolerance
To mosquito bites
So that they no longer itch.

Then— though you might be
Bitten a hundred times
On each hand
And again— on each leg
You are not bothered.

This occurs to you
When you walk in the store,
And see by chance the person
Who has bitten you
A thousand times before.

Shit. You forgot your long sleeves.
But this time when you leave
The coffee shop where you’ve both
Made your best memories
And perused each other’s dark sides
You notice nothing.

Nothing at all. No pause.
No ire. No itch. No jerk.
No need to kill. No need to scratch.
Nothing at all. And you laugh

And wonder if the laugh
Is disguising a painful response,
But no, you’re just laughing
Because you’re proof
That you’ve been bitten enough.

The tolerance comes slowly
And it doesn’t happen often,
But it happens. Call it grace.
Call it luck. Call it paying your dues.
Whatever it is, it feels so good,
You may never have to hide again.

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