NaPoWriMo – Day Seven: Skin Deep

I keep a shoe box beneath my bed.

Some nights,

when the curtains are stitched closed,

latch drawn

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.




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