Ecdysis by Sophie Hunsberger

I stand tall on this judgment day
before my greatest enemy
who mocks me from the other side
of the glass
She has stripped me bare
Dismantled my fortresses,
Pillaged my settlements,
She has gutted me here
Simply grabbed by stomach
with her jaded nails and
I take my place as king
though, I wear the same garb as the
day I was born.
She tries to undress me still.
I hold my breath in my lungs
As she
shucks my body,
My scales,
My bark,
The life is shed off of me
falling in miserable little flakes
The smaller I become
The less life I hold
Maybe it is my warm blood
And my warm hands
And my opposable thumbs
But I cannot be reborn,
rejuvenated through
My ribs
My barricades
My skin
My home
What she doesn’t understand
(or perhaps what she understands all too well)
Is that reducing my size
will not make me more alive
Because growing
as a living, breathing human
Is not always about what you can take away
from yourself
but the layers you can add

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