It was raining fingernails

A trumpeter stood in the street, eyes closed
His sound accompanied by the click, tap and rattle of
Fingernails falling on cement, building slowly stoic floods
Fingernails landing in flowerpots and pounding dents in street signs
The terrible pitch of fingernails scraping metal awnings
Chasing humans into shelter, chasing rats into gutters

Out from an alley came a little girl, playing a piano as she walked
When she looked to the sky the rain stopped falling,
But the soldiers & arms & feet & ears
Still swirled above her, clinging to the breeze
The trumpeter continued to play

Garbage cans were overflowing with fingernails
The street, sidewalk, bus stops, trash cans and abandoned cars
All covered with dull white and yellow brown fingernails
Making everything look old, even in the sunlight

Leaving behind her piano, the little girl jumped off the curb
Her bare feet splashing in a deep puddle of fingernails
They rattled and cracked below her weight
Gauging into her skin like they were still attached to fingers
Leaving her feet cut and bloodied

She bent forward, scooped up two tiny handfuls of fingernails
And tossed them into the air, laughing
They fell upon on her like rain
Bouncing off her face, catching in her hair
She sat on the curb among the scattered puddles of fingernails
Bringing one foot up into her hands

One at a time she plucked the fingernails out of her foot
Singing as she did so to remind her why it hurt

-excerpt from K. M. Douglas’ book of poems, Cities of Blood
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