new icn messageflickr-free-ic3d pan white
nightshirt | by romanlily
Back to photostream


One Afternoon


On tiptoe putting away a box

of cereal, she felt the first

tingling between her shoulder blades.

She checked her watch: 5 o'clock,

and stepped to the bathroom, slipped off

her dress, her shoes, stood with her back

to the mirror. Twisting,

she saw: an inch long, at the base

of her neck, a gap. She walked

naked to the kitchen,

put the milk in the refrigerator,

drank some water, then went

to bed. Hours passed. Looking

out the window, she watched

a barn swallow zigzag

across the lawn, saw the fuschias

needed water. And all the while

the gap along her spine grew longer,

like a crack across a windshield.

Next door, a baby was crying,

and someone played a piano. Finally,

near dawn, the fissure stretched from the top

of her skull to the base of her spine.

She wiggled her shoulders

free, slipping her arms from the arms

that clutched the pillow. And gently she

wiggled her hips free, and gently

each leg. Then, at least, she slipped her head

from the old one and got out of bed.

She felt cool. Her new hands were larger,

veinless. And who knows, she thought, but someone

may be watching. She closed the blinds,

locked the door, and got back in bed, exhausted.

And ravenous. Her shed skin, rigid, amber,

translucent, stretched out

on the sheet. She began to devour it.


—Joanie MacKowski

145 faves
Taken on December 18, 2004