Shedding Skin: The Story of a Girl on Fire – a digital storytelling project


—moLt ShEd

Most mornings, I wake
and imagine myself lizard—
nails running over rust-gray
puckerings, peeling centuries
blood into dust
when the old skin wears too ancient

I never know if I’ll emerge—
sloughed-off history
showing soft new smooth,
breathing fresh

or when my mask
will slip—reveal monster
underneath:
        past deeds etched deep
        within each canyon crinkle

If I live every day
as lizard—hide human
in the bumps
of my scars

I won’t ever
have to question
whether love could touch
ripped-stitch lips
on desert face


when my skin begins to peel

when my skin begins to peel
do not tell me what will heal it

allow me the pleasure of
hunting for the tiny white
flags already raised and waiting

for the nails of my forefinger and thumb
to close gently—strong, pull slowly
at transparent membrane
of newly dead cells

let me skin myself into blank canvas,
shed the odors of last week
into curling rubber—burn
old identities for new

(I may go too far and start to bleed)

let me feel the air as it hits,
the sting of wet meeting dry,
wound as familiar as rain

the pain will come later

for now, let me savor
in this little bit of control
my hands can inflict
on my body—

defunct tissue I can purge
off the surfaces of my skin


B(ondage) D(omination) S(kin) M(usings)

my skin is a kaleidoscope condition
it is red & yellow : brown & white
all of these : some & none

it burns, roasting from inside out
as if I dug my fingers in my hairline
and pulled

then stuck my face—
flipped & pasting backwards
on skull muscles raw from the sun

my skin is a kaleidoscope condition
it never listens to me
always attacking perceived threats
not realizing my body from foe

perhaps it predisposes me
to crave certain control in the bedroom
a surrendering of myself
to a person outside this body

perhaps it’s a relief
to find a pain not manifested
from veins running too hot
creating each new red-itch-flare
in my existence living in skin
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