after she called to tell me
he was in the hospital,
i swallowed the fingernails
i had been growing for months,
tore the razor scabs until shins
freckled with blood and skin,
pulled at lips until they hung from
the corners of my mouth like sidewalk worms.

i sat at the edge of the lake to meditate
feet entrenched in trashed mud
but instead I siphoned coffee down my
throat and nose until ulcers in my stomach
matched those on his gums.

slivers of algae shined lake glass
made comforting holes in the back of my thighs,
the sighing of thumb-size swells
became louder than the sound of
skull-bound neurons firing.


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