Scratching the Bugs Away | Teen Ink

Scratching the Bugs Away

May 2, 2010
By IntelligentZombie GOLD, Gastonia, North Carolina
IntelligentZombie GOLD, Gastonia, North Carolina
11 articles 18 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
The hardest advice to take is your own.


invisible crawling insects
on the skin
need to be scratched away
a million tiny biting eating things
swimming in the facial oils of
the nose and near the eyes and
all over, oily and dirty all over


a long fingernail trained
to be a weapon against the
crawly, creeping, wriggling, slithering and
squirming, nonexistent, writhing wormies
scratches and tears
the fingers run over skin and scabs
dig deep in desperation to
finally be free of the bugs
all the bugs


the bugs swarm from blemishes
that reveal too much
of how lumpy and bumpy and flawed the
skin really is
the bugs crawl out of the open
cuts and sores and zits repeatedly
scratched open again and again
the bugs come out of the ugly
that resists being scratched away
must keep the hands busy before
they scratch the bone clean

The author's comments:
I wrote this to describe a compulsive disorder known as Dermatillomania, a big word for a big problem. One of the most common places for someone suffering from the disorder to pick at is the face, which is what I focused on in the poem. I hope people will come away with empathy for the problem, and an understanding of what it's like to have it.

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