Fingertips

I’ve heard so many poems, songs, stories about body parts

Almost every single bit of a human’s makeup has been the focal point of works

Ribs, spines, eyes, mouth

Hearts, hands, feet, genes, genitals, and things of the like

Songs about the entirety of the body

But never have I ever heard poems about your fingertips

The bits of my hands that tap away at tabletops in class when I’m too bored to control them

Hitting the letters, space bar, and shift key on my keyboard to channel the words in my head onto the screens I spend hours staring at in hopes to find answers

Be it to share a thought or a joke to my friends, or to spit out stories of fiction and poems of emotion

The fingertips that have brushed against my cheeks to wipe away spilled vulnerability

But have never wiped away the tears of another because they’re busy running up and down that person’s back

Because that’s the only way I know how to comfort, since I’ve never been good with words unless I have that extra second of thought that lingers between idea and literature

During my times of thoughtlessness they tap against my lips

Trying to transfer the phrases that are tied around my fingers into my mouth so they can finally detach from me because I don’t want them

The words get stuck between my head and my pencil, making me stare at blank pages and wish pinpricks from needles could make the poems I want to write flow out with my blood cells

But my fingertips have been broken so many times when I sewed together pieces of fabric

And I’ve learned that the only thing that does for me is hurt and leave stains on felt

So most days, I keep them safely in my coat pockets

And some days, I want to point them at people

The one in the middle as a warning

Telling those that piss me off that I’m not going to take it from here on out

Proclaiming through something other than words so I don’t have to deal with the fear of stuttering between my off-handed “Shut the hell up”s

But when my warnings aren’t heeded

I can point my index fingertip towards the chests of those who have wronged me for so long

Towards the hearts of those who have broken mine and left nothing but a pulsing mess of muscles and severed arteries

Those that have left me struggling

Made me feel like I was the problem this whole time when I had done nothing but press my fingertips against my ears to block out the noise of screaming and slamming doors

Made me believe that I needed to do something to fix the hatred of the ones that do not even want their anger to be fixed

Made me feel obligated to help them when they started drowning in their anger at each other but only pulled me down with them

Made me fall down in a pit, and started tossing their garbage and torn promises into the hole, expecting that I would be able to clean it out

Made me carve the words into my own headstone with my fingernails, but didn’t even stop to read them when I tried to show them the product of that hard work

Made me listen to their repeated excuses of “none of your business”, “just because of stress”, “don’t take what she says personally”

Made me feel weak, and stupid, and worthless, and forgotten

Uncared for, embarrassed, ashamed, wrong, disgusting, unwanted, unneeded, ignored

Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang

But my fingertips can’t pass as gun barrels

So I drum them against tables, tap them against my lips and keyboard, shove them in my pockets

I drag them against my arms and legs because my short nails can reach

Not enough to bleed, but enough to make it hurt

Just enough to remind myself that I can still feel, and that I have control over what I do and do not suffer

To distract myself from those that make me want to point my finger at them

Bang

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