by Megan Snowe
you woke up this morning itching
to get out of this
your eye twitches. you’re a nervous person.
you can’t stand it when there is a pebble in your shoe, a booger in your nose, a chunk in your
teeth, a fibre btwn your toes, a goober in your
eye, a dribble of drool down your chin.
this morning is no morning.
this morning is your scheduled release
let the scratching commence.
methodical always, you begin by clipping your nails.
your clippers are a quality, not high, that creates
a particularly effective, but not violent, edge to a nail.
your clippings collect along the moist walls of the sink where they will remain until you are able to extend your diligence beyond your present pressing agenda.
after that is done you make yourself comfortable, sitting up, maybe on the couch.
though you typically start with the feet, today you would like to first caress your right forearm. with tips, gently grazing the surface, fingers running thru the blonded hairs (they just don’t receive enough of your attention do they?). you use only the most padded mounds of your fingertips, careful to keep the desirably harsh edge of nail elevated to another plane. then, more briefly, you explore the left; more briefly bc you are ready. you feel ready to begin with the feet.
as the trimmed ridges of each nail dig into a corresponding toe top your feet quiver with a reflexive awakening to the pressure + scraping pleasure. you continue to the sides + the inbtwns, some crannies reward you with gifts of dried skin, revealing a raw + tender recess.
it is the taut skin between the ankle + the Achilles’ tendon that really begins to excite you visually. white stroke marks obediently, + particularly eagerly, follow you around the protruding bone. rather than a pale shadow of the gesture, which is what remains on other, fleshier, parts of your body, these lines stand stiff, dry + grateful until it’s all over, until the last touch on the top of your head.
along the shins you cause a brief cascade of white to fall; a flirtatious second, then gone into the abyss of dust.
you are dust
you advance to the knees. the inner mechanism of it shifts from the pressures you apply. this complex joint of joy, the mtg of plumped yet firm calf, severe + sensitive shin, with confident front + sumptuous inner thigh. a little jolt touching the ticklish spot.
the thigh requires a simultaneous serpentine motion along the front + a full handed forceful dip to satisfy the back. the inner section of this large form wants a slow + firm ascent, the nail edges digging into the soft pillow at the top that usually prefers kissing.
your two hands scoop out over your hips, along the sides of your rib cage; bump bump bump bump over the ridges. then below the cliff face of breasts the hands shift, come together as the ribs do. they descend in a near Marilyn-over-the-grate style plunge, down the stomach. here there is a kneading before your fingers meet the mons, the hair. careful not to pull you tickle the front follicles, then upwards again to the supple belly, forming alluviums of flesh.
destination = chest. the most effective way to scratch the skin of each breast simultaneously is to expand + contract to the nipple tip with a pop. these soft mounds are distinct from the mound of the belly. beneath the surface skin is a confident form with function; function in flesh; firm machinery.
the collar begs for a stretching, opening scratch, pulling from sternum to shoulder with your claw like...an imitation of a tacky super hero transformation - “...beneath this exterior lies...”
the pose disappears when it is time for the arms to address one another. by now you can feel the difference btwn the two edges of the tip of the clipped nails. with the majority of your body awakened by the long scratch the remaining pores await, expectant + ardent. you choose the backhanded scratch for the top of your left arm. turn it over + pull. red lines rise from below the surface of pale skin. repeat for right, but top gets the pull + bottom gets the backhand push.
you know this sequence, toe to head, well, but today you become disoriented after arms. what comes next? neck, but whose neck is this? atop your burning shoulders?
you nevertheless start by crossing around the front to dominate the tender zone. whoever this neck is a part of should know who’s in charge. you spiral around the back to the ear; now the other side, up this short but vital pillar.
from behind the ear you take these nails along the ridge of a jaw bone to the point of chin. allow your hands to blossom up and you’ve caught the mouth by surprise. one finger at a time to address the details of the nostrils, up the bridge and, dancing, separate along the brows. you flick a bit of flare on each temple.
you choose a different finger to trace a scratch beneath the eyes, bringing the whole team in to finish off the cheeks.
your path to the scalp is via the sideburns, against the grain.
to attack one’s scalp one must make several aggressive yet sensual fist clenches.
you stay here a while bc a sense of recognition is returning. this head is yours - “this head is mine” - you’ve been here before, with these fingers + these nails + the tingle, burning release.
you seem to sink, activated, and fade away into yourself.
i lose sight as a sudden falling dusk goes black.
i twitch and sense an itch on the big toe of my left foot.