Words Worth

By Natalia Smiarowski

Here I am
Tearing skin from face
Working into the last moments
Of due dates.
Pressing hands around limbs of little strength.
Scratching words with sharp needles into my spine.
Scars upon scars.
Worth is more than the skin that I inhabit.

The work lives inside me.
The abstraction of blood and enzymes and
Information flow through beating hearts.
Production without meaning. Going until
The abstraction of bankruptcy.
The cleaners steadily working the floor with their mops after careless students.
The women who invade 50 story buildings who do more work than you may I do in my entire undergrad.

We are the tongues whose first response is
I hate
an old lovers name.
I say his name in the dark like he was standing next to me.
Like my words work the sludge off my brains floor. The blood students.
The neurotic nerves endings.
Scrub him clean even as I panic that those may have been
my best days.
My best worst days.

The narrative is complete in me
there is no one interested in hearing it.