We modify the piece a little here, a little there
before the inking begins.
It hurts more than I remember but I don’t flinch.
If I look down at my finger and see how much is left,
I might lose my nerve.
I don’t think about what you’ll say until it’s over.
I don’t think about what you’ll feel until it’s finished.
Permanent acceptance of what you are running from
is now on the most visible part of my body.
The hand I’ll use in handshakes to meet new people.
The finger I’ll use to point to everything I like or dislike.
The finger I’ll put inside myself, or others, in our most intimate moments.
The finger I’ll put to thumb, picking up beads and food and pills.
The finger I’ll clean sleep from my eyes each morning.
You are now a part of my hourly routine.
A reminder that reality is greater than fantasy
even when delusions seem to overtake us.
I bled myself trying to save you, standing alone in the fight.
Aimee Nicole currently lives in Rhode Island. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Roger Williams University and has been published by the Red Booth Review, Psychic Meatloaf, and Dying Dahlia Review, among others. For fun, she enjoys attending roller derby bouts and trying desperately to win at drag bingo.