I Will Try to Scream As Much As I Can

Nalini Abhiraman

During the night, mosquitoes, and all through the day. Buzzing around the bath bucket and the mug floating in it. The canopy bed draped in white netting, mosquitoes caught thrashing in its folds. Mosquito coil burning sickly sweet in the corner. Once she laughed and two flew into her mouth. What did it mean that they would rub her hands and arms with calamine but not her legs and belly? Pink slick drying white, ghosting hairs as moisture faded. Mosquitoes landing light as rain if she was unwise and wore short sleeves. Biting her fingers as she typed. She bit her own fingers for relief when welts swelled, wondering what there was to taste. A friend wrote, told her that Anopheles was Greek for useless. Different sizes of mosquitoes, some striped like warplanes. What did they talk about in the kitchen, snorting and laughing, shutting down when she walked by? She tore the net once, ever so slightly, so mosquitoes came in torrents. Clapped limbs in defense, saw her own blood bloom. Each nip from a needling mouth in different gauges. One night she forgot to look inside the net for stragglers; a single mosquito bit her face from brow to chin as she slept, leaving her as a half-blistered mask. She heard the whine of them in her ear when there were none to be seen. At times she sat in the middle of the bed, lightly coated in sweat, and stared and stared and stared at them. How they hunted, never letting up for long, as their enormous husbands floated gently in the corners near the ceiling.

Nalini Abhiraman lives in Providence, RI. She was born in 1983 in the Atlanta suburbs, and spent her childhood scratching at insect bites in exotic locations. Nalini has worked as an editor, writer, and teacher in Seoul, South Korea, and New York City. She is currently pursuing an MFA in electronic writing at Brown University.