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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