I hurt myself as a child
Blades of grass split
finger webbing; fingernails chewed
to the quick; cuticles shredded.
Midas' antithesis, I wanted to feel that pain, too
Grandma smacked my hand from
my mouth with a perfect manicure
Scolded me for unnecessary bloodshed
and wasted Bandaids
"Don't bite your nails!"--
"You'll ruin them!"
Brittle bone and dry skin and calloused pads
I no longer ruin what I touch--
I tell myself every day in an effort to avoid finding other ways to hurt--
but everything I touch hurts.
Broken nails, snagged skin; dulled sensation
Fill in the cracks with layering clear coat
Colorful armor masking damage never
My hands now more suited
for a dog's ear
or a pen
than lacing fingers with another.