by Glynnis Eldridge

my skin is peeling off. i am pulling it off with my fingernails and watching it fly out of your parked car and disappear over the parking lot. i wonder where i'll land. my skin, my ghost. it feels good to get rid of. you roll my pale strips into a ball between your fingers and you eat it. i ask you what i taste like and you say “not much.” last night when my skin started to curl up at the edges and i started to pull it off, i tossed it over the edge of my bed. you were sitting on the floor. you looked up at me and said “stop this snowstorm of your ghosts on me.”

i eat old eggs and think about swimming in my dead skin with my black bathing suit. i look over at you and you are chewing. “i will eat all of you that you peel off.” my impetus for preventing my own melanoma. i think about the yolks inside the headless chicken; hard, misshapen, oblong, clustered. i couldn't touch them. it is some kind of ritual for me to keep my fingers off of the dead. i wouldn't touch my dead grandparents either. i tried to peel a baby raccoon from the road until i felt daunted by the growls of its mother and siblings in the neighboring tall grasses. i left it there and drove off. my grandmother was buried in her pink furs and plastic face. my grandfather with his painter's cap.