the skin beside my nails is blanching
and peeling up, away
from my twitching fingers. reaching
for some other life
in the sun, some vacation from sizzling
summer blood, the
starving pain of doing nothing for days
on end, unending
afternoons in a paralyzed yellow daze.

what do you have to be stressed about,
she asks. nothing,
i reply. doing nothing is what i have to be
stressed about, cicadas
in the back of my mind getting louder
and louder, screaming
my eyes won’t unstick
from an unspecial point on the wall.
i tear my skin slowly
and it hardens into strawberry flesh,
tender and nervous.