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A Poem by Kelsey Edwards

Picked and pulled and plucked

from each of my

fingers bitten and bruised

Please never grow back

but they always do so I

pick and I pull and I pluck

and I pinch and I punch

myself to





But I don’t know how.


Please tell me how

tongues that aren’t mine move,

ears that shouldn’t hear do,

eyes that never saw have.


All lies that cover the truth.

The past has passed

this too will pass

now let me pass- it’s past my time,

my bedtime.


Ha! I’m stuck in bed now

let me sleep, I want to sleep

but my nails are bitten

and I’m starting to bleed.

I picked too much but it’s

not enough so I

look back at my—


(Return to title)

A Statement by Kelsey Edwards on her process

I am an anxious person, that is no doubt. Bus rides, bike rides (but surprisingly not train rides), new people, familiar people, drain covers, conversations, the way I speak, the way I don't know how to behave around different people, options, my mum's health, taking care of my plants: these all fuel my anxiety. And they are all a part of my daily life. Hangnail explores my compulsive and erratic thoughts and behaviours that I really should change but never seem to be able to. I recently picked one of my hangnails, or whitlows, as my mum calls it, so much so that it tore a line down my pinkie and was swollen and red and weirdly glossy for days. Hangnail was written in distraction, to help me stop doing the things that I know are unhealthy but have become habit. Ironically enough, I started it on the bus and finished it whilst waiting to meet someone new.

Back to BoundBy: May / June (Edition #3)

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