Mosquito Gospel

“Mosquito Gospel”, “Play My Body Piccolo” and “And the Clouds”

In Poetry Issue Four by Jenifer Joseph

Mosquito Gospel

Mosquito Gospel

Mosquitoes have no trouble believing in their cause.
They know pray and prey are just one letter away.
They know the day for you
Is razor thin
And if you saw night you wouldn’t know
Where to begin.
You know that one more bite couldn’t possibly be
Enough for a parasite.
They know sulfur trembles in the sky
Unless you fool yourself into believing
It’s only air.
They know love is a patchwork
For something you want so badly
To be there.
They will stitch with your still moon
And wax with your waning visage.
They will let you believe your canary limbs
Are an explosive mirage.
They will love you like a shrine-
And benign.
They will love you like dry ice-
Raw to the tongue
And so nice.
And they know you will desiccate
In their swarm
Or else, be hung.

Play My Body Piccolo

Play me like a piccolo, I asked, until
you pawed out hopestrung caramel
through my gums, cascading swanlike
down my psalm femurs, until my thighs
ran in strands of rude tarp, crowding
your holly jolly carol eyes, until you
couldn’t have your fun anymore, you
pinched my epidermis tent, determined to
put Humpty Dumpty back together, again
in strains of infantile mammories, again
I tried to fine tune the one solid note
you got out of me, or think you got
out of me, once, but it’s a pisspoor
recreation, you complain, again
surveying the wan hair,
wracking my breasts
in thunder inquisitions, you
knew there was no music
there, ever, for I am too twisted
now, in mudspring curves, too
thick to be convivial, too pliable to be
compliant, my belly crunches
convulsively, crawling out my convex
chest, carved in red spots and a makeshift
grave, granted, you were right, again,
for I figured my french fry fat
served cacophony, my party noise made
mincemeat from my marrow, but again,
I still cover my hands, hoping
to hear the melted beat I
know once held you, or again
if my throat tries
too hard to keep with
your finger pace, or if it dies
discordant on the wrong
keys, again, and again, and again.

And the Clouds

I began, I ate, I slept, and the clouds
Crept loam into sand and lingerie into trousers
As I ran six or seven minute miles into the reverie
Until autumn and you fell; we cycled, and the clouds

I greyed, I bubbled, I seared, and the clouds
Gave you and me smoke suds and hazy banshees
Where the incense cut out bramble wildebeests
Into your slow arms, like ribbons, and the clouds

We baked snakeskin honey and apple pies, and the clouds
Remembered Eve, and Eden, and the pragmatic attempts
Of level-headed nations to level our occult notions
Of man, of woman; we unsurfaced, and the clouds

One of us had gathered hours, lurid, and the clouds
Chased fragile auroras, who pressed against tall beams
Of neon colosseums, shrouds, shepherds, and mourners
Trying not to think of you; failing; and the clouds

About the Author

Jenifer Joseph


Jenifer Joseph is an undergraduate student at Ursinus College. She is currently studying Neuroscience, Creative Writing, and Classics, though poetry remains her first and fiercest love. This is her first formal publication.

Read more work by Jenifer Joseph .

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