Your socks. Your dirty balled up socks across the floor,

one in and one out of your scuffed brown shoes

and the long sharp nail of your big toe

making a hole in the leather.

The sounds of you, scratching scaly skin,

pulling and picking at each offending toe nail,

sharpening round edges into razors that rake my thigh


in the night. In the violet light of the night across your face

the stiff lashes of your sleeping eyes quiver slightly

and rest and quake again at the touch

of my hand, a moth’s soft embrace.

These things sink roots in my memory,

they scratch and claw deep inside my skin

and speak of things I love and hate and cannot live without.

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Dirty socks by Melissa Summers-Day