nails are the ones I scratch my back with before shower, sensing the crust of healing griefs;

nails that we hit in the coffin every time we had sex to fill out feelings that lacked;

nails that you let grow after that job – the one on dexterity, #1 in your resumé; sour irony behind doors – nails that I got back to brutal biting – nails that, like us, grow up and grow apart;

nails that rebelled and escaped the walls in the house of trembling floors – years of hidden negligence; compromise weighs way too many pounds (I mumbled while you thumped your way through the living room);

nails that fell down the wooden beams, eaten by mysterious termites – no one has ever passed as much time in the basement to know the nests;

nails that articulate G’s metal legs, breathing swift pumps out in the square meter;

nails that hold poorly printed photos of V in an aggressive purple halter, the seven-inch heels juxtaposing clasped lips;

nails that lack in my own walls;

nails that can be traced back by light angles and patient fingers, revealing layers of blue, pink, yellow, faint cigarettes;

nails that state the previous tenant’s delight in collecting mugs, family pictures, dust, christmas lights by the droopy roof;

nails I need for hanging the frameless posters I got for too many months – now wrinkled and dog-eared by fear and a maniac anticipation for diaspora;

nails hard with rust dyeing the dripping water that schleps through the subway tiles;

nails strategically positioned in a grout crossing – the softest place a six-inch wrist could find out of needy exasperation;

nails, respectful little things that remain even after –
nails that hold the ghosts of who we used to be
until they don’t.

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