Drinking Calamine

by Carl Santoro

Shit, I thought it was a Beck's.

The bites have been swabbed.
Cottenballs all pink.

A frenzied air chase ended the career of
a tiny moth.
Thought it was a biter. Sorry.

Hallucinating every thought.
Scratching must be like what crack is.

Itch-serum speeding under 
surface skin. 3 new ones in under a minute.
Bubbling into volcanic terrors.
My nails, filled with wet lotion and blood-
too much scratching.

This used to be a war with
poison ivy...
at camp...
every summer. 

Calamine's hypnotic scent
too lovely to 
be a weapon.

I release the pink lava.
It oozes onto yet another
cotton ball.

Bandit at 3:00!
With bottle in hand
I swing to deflect.

The Beck's falls.
The lotion spills.
The bite wins.

I can hear the moth laughing.