bad habits

By | December 13th, 2016 | Glue, Prose & Cons, Web Exclusive

by Madison Barlow

she asked me why i let my fingernails grow.
aren’t you afraid they’re going to break?
she inquired.
why do you let them grow so?

i said:
i let them stretch out
nice and long
and pretty so a boy will find me beautiful.
and then i continued
even though she opened her mouth;
let it gape
trying to consume my logic.

i will trace the outline of his jaw with them
and dance them down his back.
i’ll paint them his favorite shade of love
and grip his waist with them
as he grips my core
with swirling sanctuaries of his mind.
we’ll sigh whispers of gold,

of love and of fear
until our breath gets tangled.
and one day he’ll wake with sleep in his eyes
and scars on his chest
for my nails will have sunk in too deep.

i waited to break the intrigue
in her eyes.

and when he leaves;
my hands will meet at the center of my chest
and start to prowl; shred.
my pretty little fingernails will
claw their way
to the core of my heart;
they will unroot
the love he planted nice and deep.
they’ll splinter each branch and splatter
its blood
until i’m hollow and messy
and my nails
are just nubs.

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