- POETRY -

ONYCHOTILLOMANIA

 

Lauren Bender

ISSUE ELEVEN | FALL 2018

if everyone else is going to die this year          can i

 

dig and dig and dig      a patch keeps forming i can

 

peel off     followed by some sort of discharge

 

enough now i beg you     stop wanting stop trying

 

stop making noise     another therapist and this one

 

tells me     to name what i am     to use my voice not

 

the blood under my nails     her handwriting looks like

 

my mother's     and i am determined to forgive her

 

for caring about me     as much as you care about

 

any job the universe sends your way     more noise

 

more trying     more digging maybe next week

 

i will tell her     i can't do this anymore     because

 

it's hard     to even want to survive     a certain kind

 

of healing     when instead there is pus and skin

 

scar tissue     the dull ache of touching     of being

 

touched     when i know i can master     self-removal

Lauren Bender is a queer poet living in Burlington, VT with her wife and rudely adorable gray cat. Her work has appeared in such places as IDK Magazine, The Collapsar, Gyroscope Review, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, and Yes Poetry and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. You can find her on twitter @benderpoet.

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