A poem by Fran Newton: My Skin

My Skin


I was born into it. This cult of

Nude and brown and pink we all belong to.


Wrapped in a tapestry, embroidered with

Eleven miles of blood vessels running


Through. Let’s celebrate the siege. Now aren’t I rich?

A squidgy suit of armour keeping lungs


That could blow a wall down, and a heart that plays

To the same rhythm and time signature


As birdsong, or night turning into day;

A mind like a scribbled-in puzzle-book,


All pressed together into one, her, me.

The scratch of here and kiss of there, my own


Ingredients for that sweet black magic taste.

I came all hot and fresh, but now we are this


Collage of black ink and bruises and scars

And mapping of my days like the path of


Aeroplanes across an evening sky, or sniffing out

Trails etched into the forest floor. I


Can stand naked in a mirror’s frame and


My skin will sing out yes, yes, I am you

And I am yours. You wouldn’t take a


Woman’s lungs from her. When did the wrapping’s

Touch on your fingers become so much more important


Than the punch inside? We will iron it out,

And save it for another Christmas. I’ll wrap


A gift to myself and name it

Private Property to share with who I pick.


Eve may have reached for fig leaves but it was the snake

Who had the right idea. We cannot win. So


I will shed my covered, bared, black and white,

Sun-hot and shaded, slut, saviour and angel skin.


Step out of it, and into the blood of a

Morning, where they might just hear the cry of


Heart, and lungs, and brain, that have so long and

Hungrily been kept, right here, blinded, within.


Image by Elle May











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