Brynn Martin

IN DAYDREAMS I VIOLENCE MYSELF A NEW BODY

A tab of skin has come loose
on my left forefinger
so I tug it, thinking to slough
off a small strip of dead skin.
Instead, I keep peeling,
the thin top layer separates
from the rest with a satisfying shhsckt.
I have a whole sheet
the size of my hand,
translucent and pale,
but still I pull, entranced
by how it won’t crack, break
or stop. The skin peels
even past the kink of my wrist,
keeps up the shucking sound,
though is louder now and wide.
The strip is as long as my arm
but I can’t stop pulling.
Everything stings as I peel
the sheet further, down my shoulder,
across my chest    my whole torso.
I need to see  how much skin
will come off   this time,
what I    will look like  underneath.
It ends                  at my toe
I am transfixed    by the pounds

of cells           I have stripped from myself,
a heap             of shed          skin.

I barely notice                                               what is left—

my body        pink        raw

burning.

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