Poetry from Oona Haskovec

Fingerprints

            Before I sat down today, I scored an orange, a cross over the green stem, and I wrestled with the peel to force it away from the flesh. I trimmed my nails last week to keep myself from picking at my raw fingertips, and I thought it was helping, until today when I felt a dampness on my skin. I looked down to see a bit of blood seeping into my cuticle. Not enough for it to be a problem, but it made my heart sink a little, because I thought I was past this. Now, when I plunge my thumb beneath the orange peel, between the seam I made, the acidic citrus leaks across the cracked skin and my hand pulls itself to my mouth to draw out the pain. The rawness has nearly migrated to the middle of my thumbprint, where it spirals into itself. I’ve been wondering, if I keep this up, will I get a new fingerprint? Will my one claim to individuality be rewritten? Maybe this is my chance for a new beginning. My fingers have been shaking all week and I do not know what to do to stop it. It’s not that I am anxious, I think it’s just something fundamentally wrong in my brain these days. I think that I am so lucky to have written evidence of the decline of my brain in this past week, but it makes me so sad. I could blame the start of the Spring Semester, or I could blame myself, but I think that it is both. Phoebe Bridgers in my headphones is not helping.

            I think I have moved on from the idea that growing up is causing all my problems, and it’s the sole reason I have been so sad. I think that I just need to get new friends. I need to wipe myself clean and maybe swim in the ocean and paint myself with sunshine, and wait for the good people to come to me. As it is right now, I love my friends so deeply it is killing me, and I cannot sit and wait for them to like me more. I think that the longer I wait, the harder it will be to say anything. What a bad sentence. I bet 300,000 people have said that sentence today. Today I stood in someone else’s kitchen, she made mac and cheese with the person that all of these things have been about, and I stood, in complete silence, wedged between the end of the stove and the wall. I have been making a habit of making myself small recently, and I am worried that it’s becoming an issue. I sit on the floor between two people I have known forever, and I shrink my legs down as small as they go. I sit in the darkness in the back of the car, listening, and not paying attention to my surroundings. When I go to say goodnight, what I hear from him is “I wish I was with my other friends instead of you.” Maybe that’s the real stupid sentence here. Or maybe both seem stupid because they are too much of the truth all at once. I have said all the wise things there are to say, I have made all the best, most thought out points ever said about one’s inner workings of the mind, and I think I have talked it all out. I am now left with the blind wondering. The silence that comes not from trying to think of an answer, but being without a question. That’s a good sentence.

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