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Bloodied Nail Beds


This selection is from NonBinary Review Issue #5: The King in Yellow. Get NonBinary Review #5 from the Zoetic Press website. 


“Ne raillons pas les fous; folie dure plus longtemps que la notre . . . Voila toute la difference.”

Moon-caste shadows alert me to the misalignment of the painting over the safe. The chitter of distant voices amplifies with the tilt of tumbler to lips. The smell of peat, tarry-black, adds to the miasma of eventide. The cubes clink. Outside my windowed-balcony, troops in spit-polished boots slap the cobblestones of Washington Park. A gagged chuckle phases with the random thought of the ratio between—occupation and libation.

black holes sink
into the backdrop of sky:
blood runs

The torn edge of a nail intrudes; I worry it with my teeth. The harsh Kentucky whiskey smarts in the recess of nailbed. (Bed: sleep, scratching, strangling horror)—a four-poster Victorian abortion of craved pre-war teak lurks, covered in down comforters beside the wall. Oh they lie, how they lie. The list, I have the list; mustn’t lose the list. Pacing the room, the images of my fall; my mounts death—attach themselves to the thud of my own footfall. Fall, rise, rainthe reign of Kings— In fits of sanity, I struggle, oft confusing place and space. Sun seeker, am I, Le Roi-Soleil.

twin diamonds sparkle
in a retrieved golden crown:
goose-steps return


guzziDeborah Guzzi is a healing facilitator specializing in Shiatsu and Reiki. She writes for Massage and Aromatherapy publications. She travels for inspiration. She walked the Great Wall of China, Nepal (during the civil war), Japan, Egypt (weeks before “The Arab Spring”), Peru, and France (during December’s terrorist attacks).