skin too small

by epi

[i know, it needs more work. but i scribbled it on a moleskin, and can barely decipher any of the words.]

sometimes, i still forget that telephones can
carry only voices, so when she said,
“my skin feels, too small.”
i nodded thinking, “i know that feeling.”

of being too large for myself.
of pushing out against my protection from
the world, struggling to make enough room
and ripping my own skin in the process of
trying to keep from suffocating.

my body heals but, too hurt too let me forget, leaves
stretch marks so that i always remember the pain of

stretch marks. we name them “regret” or “joy”,
slather them with cocoa butter, hoping that they fade and
take with them what they brought. Or, we marvel at what
they mean, what they gave us: new life or brokenness or
sometimes, just more room in ourselves (just when we thought
“i can’t. i’m not enough…”). We were wrong. We can always
grow, or turn away (reject the change), but either way, soon,
we find our skins fits us just fine again.

(So you’ll shrink or your skin will tear,
but when it does, remember, those
stretch marks are our badges to wear
as proof of growth, of making it through.)

Skin too small.
Yes, lovely,
I know that.
I have maps across my back
and thighs and heart, my proof.