• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 09
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Zipping and Unzipping

Beneath summer night’s thick, sticky haze,
she unzips her mask, feeling nothing. Pale
flesh, splits, one tooth at a time. Metal parts

remain. No heart. No blood. No warmth.
She heaps skin casings on cherry wooden
nightstand, with pills, plush animals and never

helping self-help. Years of trauma, hiding
beneath skin, removed her humanity,
leaving an automaton mimicking life.

With each new light, she must choose
which skin to show the world, and zip up
before anyone sees the deep, rusted truth.