Peeling off layers.

Words by & illustration by Olivia Domingos

I have traded every limb for silence.

Instead of photographs, my pasts are cast

in scaly sheaths,

I dance for weeks at a time

before dying in another silk

and the warm-blooded,

wrapped in dead blankets,

with pelt stretched

over a whole life,

to me it is not right


don’t they love things that always are?

and isn’t that how it always is?

the endurance of a hide

before being found:

he claws out the muscle and rips off the skin

scouring for source

I do not even remember my maiden name,

nor the pattern of the scales on her back—

But I can leave my hides behind,

rushing over grass,

in my strange ulterior dance


bolt like a blunt knife,

dropping another negligee

but not revealing

that I too coil in fear

to sleep, alone, in a sacral knot.

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