Cytoplasm

by Nadia Lines

Blister on my finger grows, the chasm
between bone and the outer ring
of skin, the skin filling with
glassy liquid, the inside
of the plaster like an open
egg and I am queasy
at the sight of my weeping
fingernails, the eager yellow
jelly, all the yolks I haven’t
eaten, the whites of someone
else’s eyes in the mirror,
the hours I spent revising,
the magic of a callus, how
proud I felt when people
stroked it. There is an echo
of me in the Sellotape
stuck to my walls where
I would hang up the
minutes like little
murderers, where I
would watch the
post-it notes grow
like sores, the formulas
tremulous as I stared.
I swear that they
would bleed in
the night. I
would bleed
in the night
and someone
would comment
on my scooped
out sockets
and say I was as
pale as anything.
Iron deficiency.
Haunting. A
smattering
of ectoplasm,
the poor
lighting,
the shadow
of my
former
self.