I keep a shoe box beneath my bed.
when the curtains are stitched closed,
windows nailed shut,
I fumble with the sellotape seal,
nails scrabbling for an edge,
ripping slips free with cardboard kisses
printed on the undersides.
wrapped and stacked within,
my skins crinkle like tissue.
These are the ones I do not wear
in front of other people.
A few I do not recognise.
The measurements are not mine,
and they swirl and eddie
around my limbs
like riptides filled with rope.
Once upon a time someone said
I would grow into them.
My bones would learn how to fit
inside another’s flesh
without tearing through the seams.
I wonder whose skin they took,
when they felt they had to shed their own.