I wore a suit. I called it my own skin.
Wherever I went, people asked how long
I was going to where it, whether I’d trade it
in for a pair of wings and a gown. I ran
from them, trying not to get a tear in my jacket,
a rip down my spine. Damage could happen
anywhere. I could be taking a class when a man
launches a full-scale attack on my threads
with bullets made of lead. They might reveal
the label, my heart, which once torn off, ruins
the whole outfit. It soon became clear I didn’t
want to wear it outside, for fear an unknown
bomb might drop, setting the cloth on fire,
burning up the hanger of bones. A watch
ticked inside the fabric, telling me when it
would lose its suppleness, its ability to shield me
from the world. I swore one day I’d take it off.
I wouldn’t be afraid. I’d let what’s inside me
spill out into the ground. I’d let whatever’s left
shoot into the air, where it would be safe in the sea
and the river, the rocks and the dirt. It wouldn’t
matter what I wore then. They’d be as sturdy
as the earth, recycled and torn, renewing itself
as the sun fires within its glow, heartbeats of light.