Read My Age Spots

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By Sarah Davis

My digits haven’t grown since the embryonic stage
when they learned to grasp hearts,
paintbrushes, money.

My pinky was torn in half when
man’s best friend
exposed my secret,
that my birthmark is shaped like an ‘L’

His hands ask if it feels good
when he moves in circles.
I shift positions and say ‘no’
while I scrape the skin from my bones.

The privacy of pockets hide
nails peeling nails peeling nails.

Chemicals block the sun.
Lack of calcium has made the tips
of me spotted
to match my paint speckled knuckles.

The ditch beneath my nails
exposes my experience.
Men with doctorates read my age spots.
Their crystal balls tell me of my
genetic predisposition to Rheumatoid.

“You’ll never paint again” they bark.
No more shell collecting with Venus, or hermetic nights
with high rising elephants.
Only easy open pill jars and wrist splints.

My hands are dead, twisted coral
eaten by crabs with white coats.
And now I can’t even sign my name
on their prescriptions.


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