Sunday, March 28, 2021

Red Bugs by Jessi Lord

“Don’t touch that moss,” Mama said.
“It’s got red bugs in it.
They’ll crawl up under your skin
and live inside you
like the fear of God himself.”

She had her back to the wind
to light a cigarette
and I put the moss on my head
like a Dolly Parton wig.

The red bugs must’ve crawled
into my ears,
cause a couple years later
they started whispering.

I took scalding baths
to drown them,
dumping water on myself
with the same pitcher we used
to make Kool-Aid.

Red bugs don’t mind water.
Moss hangs low from the trees
like a heavy, damp
breeding ground.

Jessi Lord is a creative writing major at the University of Central Florida. An Amelia Island native, Jessi enjoys writing poetry at the beach on her flamingo raft.

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