She comes to him at dawn
sweet-nothings him awake
as she nuzzles past his ear
whispering her desire; she tells
how the scent of his sweat
draws her, how she would risk
her life for love of him,
how she yearns to penetrate
the tangled veil of hair and kiss
the occult curve of his neck.
(Thanks to reader The Root of All Evil for pointing out the biological flaws when I posted an earlier version of this as Incubus a couple of years ago.)
On the subject of biological flaws, I am well aware that the bug in the photo is a crane fly (known as a daddy-long-legs in the UK) and doesn’t bite or sting, but there’s no way I’d have got that close to a mosquito.
I wasn’t keen on getting close anyway, as the creature was huge (too big to get it all in focus!) and they do have a tendency to dance around. At least the other type of daddy-long-legs – the harvestmen or Opiliones – don’t have wings, so they keep to one surface. We have dozens of those around, too, but they are also mostly too big to fit in a neat photo.
I’ve come back to this poem in part because there seem to be far more midges about this year than ever before, and between them and the ants, I seem to be being eaten alive. I swear we live atop a giant ants’ nest – probably better than it being a giant ant’s nest – and there is no romance in the way the ants nibble my ankles when I’m hanging the washing or watering the garden.