D-E-R-M-A-T-I-L-L-O-M-A-N-I-A by Jess Mc Kinney

05/02/2018

 

beneath scanning hands
scouting gulls
my entire body becomes
something that can’t be helped
a place that can be reached
a scalded thing
with mounds to reduce
pared down with pressure
i’m hunting for gold
between lighthouse peaks
frantic in the blind expanse
a blank canvas
a loading screen
my back
my pores
giving birth
again and again and again
to my tiny bloody sons
suspired sesame seeds
each a relief
from this
impregnated epidermis
pulled tight
my window of tolerance
mostly unconsciously
hopeful to hide it
the distraction
the satisfaction
it’s a trap
and i’ll deny this
a fleshy fishing lure
for which you may fall
when I fear that you’ll find it
the physical incarnation
of swallowed anxiety
and that you’ll apply pressure
as he did
when I’d cut in
as if that’s what I wanted
to stay in pain
to confront my past risen
and become recognizable
floating to the surface
like soured milk
a betrayal
too late in your mouth
like a scary late night google
a solution
on how to heal
how to stop
but like properly
and want to
like you want her to
to quit that spirit picking
to put that drink down
to leave your hands bare
and let hard habits tire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jess Mc Kinney is a queer feminist poet, essayist and English Studies graduate of UCD. Originally from Inishowen, Co. Donegal, she is now living and working in Dublin. Her writing is informed by themes such as sexuality, memory, nature, relationships, gender, mental health and independence. Often visually inspired, she seeks to marry pictorial elements alongside written word. Her work has been previously published in Poethead, Three Fates, The Glass Wall, A New Ulster, Impossible Archetype, HeadStuff, In Place, Hunt & Gather, and several other local zines.  
You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @soft_moth
Or check out her writing website: https://sulkymoon.wordpress.com/author/sulkymoon  

 

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