I would never have to shed my skin / in my leaving.
after Paul Tran
Who can face the dead
squirrel laying on the cul-de-sac
of some near suburbia, stunted,
and believe we are any better.
That we have evolved to be more
than this. I once did. I once stepped on
the taxidermied rug of a blackbear
placed neatly on the floor of a Toronto
hotel foyer, used its fur to scrape the dirt
off of my first pair of heels and thought:
I would never have to shed my skin
in my leaving. Thought I could wear it
like a bathrobe in each of my nine lives,
be able to recognize my sad shape
despite the curtain’s fixed light no longer
etching my shadow onto a slippery,
unnameable earth. A garment not beautiful,
but enough. Enough that my body
would not be left behind like the dead
animal on the street, which, I swear,
once, wore my face in its last breath.
The interrogative entrance and the line “I once did. I once” are phrases that were borrowed and altered from Paul Tran’s “Copernicus”