1 a.m.

You peel the skin off your fingers
bit by bit, layer by layer,
wearing out Your fingernails
and the store of bandages in the bathroom closet

the skin is firm between Your teeth as You chew away the angst
fight back those awful waking nightmares
and find some kind of peace in the biting pain
that echoes outward from Your cuticles
 
this exorcism helps You breathe
 
You bite holes in Your lips and savour
the blood that flows from the spongy layer beneath
the pain that comes from the salt and the spice and the sour
and You can’t help but wonder if Your autocannibalism is a byproduct or a newly revealed tic

You’re looking thinner, getting compliments,
oh You’ve lost so much weight
oh You’re looking so handsome
oh You look like You’ve been up all night for the last week eating Your digits in a vain attempt to stop Your mind in its tracks and derail the trains of thought that only seem to take You deeper and deeper into those places that You swore You would never tread through again only to find Yourself back there, night after night, with nothing by way of salvation

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