THE GIRL WITHOUT SKIN

Jennifer Hanks

 
 

I am the girl without skin. I marble myself, red and lemon spit white. A tea dress becomes butcher paper—I marvel at myself, still alive to uproot my teeth. Still alive to protest my worth.
 
So this is a drowned woman. So this is the squish of her wet feet. Roll out the old orange carpet. Bring out the curlers with the lavender ends. Set her wet hair and watch it spit.
 
So this is the henhouse. The truth female north. Shrinking until steamrolled. Chickens stampede over my skinless body, stew my muscles with the shit on their feet.
 
So this is the ghost space. The boards whistle, the house collapses. The hens escape, some split down the middle. Random insides fall everywhere: peacock tails, squash seeds, a rat’s head. From these insides, women, naked and mildew-streaked. My nostrils are dirt.

 
 

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