Toenails

You don’t want to clip them

too short, these ten little heads.

They remind me of candy corn,

or mini portabella mushroom

slices you can sauté with onions,

garlic and butter,

the white nail parts reminiscent

of cooked quinoa husks,

dry, sea-salted clam shells,

or the beetle-winged sheaths

on the inside of popcorn kernels

that’ve been buzzing behind

back teeth all day

and which by night have landed

in the sink to be washed down

the drain with a swish of alcohol-

free denial and forgetfulness.

Without shame, I can say it’s possible

that in a parallel dimension

these ten little pearls

formed inside a giant oyster,

and that the alien body they

might have bloomed out of,

may have pushed through its

meshy sack, before skittering off

across the bottom of the multiverse

in a cloud resembling ink.