why we have nails


1.

Hey! Relax, her shirt says, but I’m bleeding out my fingertips to touch something green too,

too, too much to do.

There’s a race in progress. No shit

The time has passed to swim, or it’s storming, but maybe it’s just pollution, both in the air and in their words. Airplanes are deceiving, more metal than opportunity. It’s all about perspective.

2.

It’s nothing you don’t know, I’m only part-gardener, seeding, yet not growing, and the dirt is everywhere, in my hair, under my fingernails, even inside my ears. I cannot hear you cry, call for help, the house is on fire, and people are burning alive. I wish I could save them, but none of my plants will grow. I have nothing to show for, and I am jealous by everything you do—how you carry the bodies in your arm, the paper mask over your mouth, and now an oxygen tube. What good can come of unbirthed living things? They are hiding, ashamed of me, and I will scrub my fingers raw, but the dirt will always show.

Published by celinamcmanus

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