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

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