the candent core of summer lodges itself at the base
of my throat like a tumor that won’t let go
but anneals itself slowly into new seasons.
again and again the year repeats like
a tick, a habit that serves no purpose but
to comfort itself. it’s self-fulfilling prophecy.
after I shower, I examine the body for new
bruises. splashes of moss green on my shin,
magenta on the foot, a beautiful garnet on my right asscheek.
all my old bodies rest in the corner – unhung and unattended to.
no matter how many times we move I never forget them.
I like to remember who she used to be, the different
versions people still like to refer to.
there are so many skins – some burnt or ashen
or stretched like leather, coming all the way from the homeland.
this isn’t so bad, I tell her, though she cannot hear me
as I get ready to shed another casing,
wriggling around – a feral animal.
when it is done, I look again.
the dry heat is palpable in waves in the distance.
I am a mirage, an oasis – the moment you close in you’ll realize
I was scarcely even here.
Author Bio: Yoana Tosheva does not drink pop, but if she did, it would be Coke that has been sitting open in the fridge for over a day so all the bubbles are gone. She is a student, an immigrant, and an artist. Her work has been published in Yes Poetry, Constellate Literary Journal, Right Hand Pointing, Anser Journal, Sixty Inches From Center, Trampoline, Red Fez and elsewhere. She runs a blog about music which you may peruse at https://collectivecadence.home.blog/. Her visual art can be found on Instagram @yoana_art.