The circle grows smaller as each throb conspires
to rob my fingertips of feeling.
I can’t scratch away the darkness.

Battered nails and loose hangnails cling
to my fingers like small, dead fish,
slimy and slender; I can’t swim away.

The door latch raises; my eyes squint.
As dust particles float past, I see shark’s teeth
that grin from a nun’s habit, standing watch.

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