My nails don’t stop growing, that strange prickling of fingers –

an itch I can’t scratch, a confusing volition. Yes, I rang for

the exorcist; won’t say I regret it. Not the holy water nor that

old book nor the box with utensils: forks, little knives, a

divining rod & he this cruel gynecologist, waving it about my belly

in search of God knows what, and he probably does. If my fingers

twitch still, I am dry as a desert. Like a place one gets lost in.

Like a flat place one dies in, and I do, and I did. Would you believe

me if I said I felt you leaving my body? Felt you push at the door,

looking out, that sad face. The gush of the break, the earth-shake,

bilious panic. Gone the screaming and fits, gone the claws. Do I miss

their faint scratching? Their soft rat-tat-tat, near-umbilical. Hard.

The exorcist says I was blameless, who could blame me, he says so.

And one doesn’t let splinters fester even if, under different conditions,

they might have been trees. So I made the appointment, boiled water

for tea. He looked young for an exorcist, but I look young for a

dead woman. Yes, you get out what you put in, and I do, and I did.