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Dead Skunk Logo: round logo of a white skunk silhouette on a black background with the words “Dead Skunk” in cursive. “Dead” is neon purple and “Skunk” is neon yellow.

MOLTING

Yoana Tosheva

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.

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Dead Skunk Logo: round logo of a white skunk silhouette on a black background with the words “Dead Skunk” in cursive. “Dead” is neon purple and “Skunk” is neon yellow.

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