The Skin I Used to Live In

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The skin I used to live in was stretched so tightly over me. 

Stifling. 

Suffocating. 

Silencing. 

But they liked me in that skin.

They supported me in that skin.

I was accepted in that skin. 

But there was no space for me in that skin. 

It was my too-tight outfit. 

Not home. Not home. No home. 

I was screaming into that skin.

It held all my apologies.

All my failings.

All my burned out beauty.

Scorched. Cinders of embers of ashes of nothing. 

All razed. All reduced. 

Nothing. Nothing. No thing. 

I was gone. 

But they loved me in that skin.

They said I was theirs.

But I was stifled, suffocated, silenced. 

And they didn't mind that I couldn't breathe.

As long as I smiled. For them. 

So I did.

And sometimes I laughed.

And sometimes I believed it. Believed me. 

I think maybe they knew. 

They'd hear my jagged inhale.

Sounds of a serrated breath.

But then they'd look away. 

Because who wants to witness

A masquerade of misery. 

Not them. Not me. 

Look away. Look away. Look away. 

I asked myself,

Who might you be

Outside of this skin?

What if you undressed yourself

Of caring?

So I did.

Now I have new skin. 

I am not squatting in this skin. 

I have my own place. 

To move and breathe and be. 

I am here. I am home.


Photo credit: Leon Cato Photography