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  • Gary Hunter

Nail Biting - Feb. 27, 2022

I paint the bitter

coating over my keratin

carefully on the vulnerable spots

in sunlight

the tips of my fingers like

the barrels of ten polished guns

thin protection I realize

against an enemy

that has never lost

and will attack again soon enough

one absent-minded nip

might gain purchase

and wound from there

three months they say

a battle not to win

just defend

three months before

a tyrant tires and searches

for other unwary prey

surely you’ve noticed every

bad habit starts with hands raised

and weapons out of sight


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