/ Poetry

On Writing & The Body

Spit still gathers on the tip of my tongue when I yawn,
deciding whether it should drop off the end.
More often than not these days, it winds up dripping or
drooling its way out, and it falls halfheartedly to the floor.

Occasionally I still get bloody noses. When the pressure inside is too high
and I try to discretely pick some bits out, the dam gives way and all hell breaks loose.
Those times are messy. I rush to the nearest sink or toilet and, until I can wad up enough
tissue paper or kleenex or toilet paper -- or the undershirt I was wearing, one time --
until then I just let it spew out. Part of me gets a visceral satisfaction from it.
Not exactly a controlled release, but then again
when has release ever been fun in a completely controlled environment?

And I still pop my zits, sometimes. Where they appear changes, but that part doesn't matter.
Sometimes I observe them and let them fester a few days or weeks, before popping them
with this sick, thick, momentary glee. The build up on those ones is great.
But sometimes it's just hard to sit and wait for a good one to get even better.
I'd rather just sit, take a few minutes, and squeeze the whole damn thing out at once.

There's a chunk of pencil lead still buried in my left hand, from gradeschool.
I was trying to show off what I could do with the writing utensil,
and it wound up coming back to me in a form of karmatic justice I couldn't comprehend at that age.
It's still there, buried beneath years of scar tissue,
and you can see the gray spot. Seriously, it's right here.

I went to the doctor to get it taken out once, but they couldn't get to it without
cutting a bunch of stuff open and they said it wasn't worth it because it wasn't toxic.
Sure it's not toxic, but does it belong there?
A couple times I considered surgically extracting it myself.
But each time I decided that it sort of did belong there.
and it still itches on the inside. Like it wants to get out, down on paper.

It still gently knocks in the dark of night like the heart beneath the floor
of my chest, like the skeletons in my closet no one knows about,
still gathering on the tip of my tongue.

Nick Giampietro

Nick Giampietro

Nick graduated from Portland State University with a degree in Japanese Literature and a minor in English, and works as a Software Engineer in Portland. He lives with his wife and dog-of-a-cat.

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