Human have fingernails. This means
that those of us with claws survived,
and the clawless others faded out.
We used our claws. To cut with,
to carve, to puncture. Blades
were inspired by the sharpness
at the edge of each finger and toe.
Claws on our toes helped us to stand
when the ground shook or softened.
Those whose claws kept growing
outlived those whose claws did not
grow back, once damaged or taken.
We locate our angst in them, and so
we pick at them and file them and gnaw
at them. Scour them to smooth them out
and paint them red or glue artificial nails
over the real, ragged ones, resurfacing
this proof of our continual creaturedom.