Suicidal Striptease

by Sara Young

I play with the hanging edge of my nail,

Until it tears off, taking the very tip

Of my finger with it, leaving a bloody

Red streak across my ivory skin.

 

A blotch of crimson

On an otherwise

Spotless, smooth palette,

Like a porcelain plate.

 

Only, I am not made

of china; though my body

Every bit as much a shell

as a smooth, ivory bowl.

 

No.

 

My complexion is closer to paint;

And when I sleep, I dream of clawing

The transparent skin from my face,

With razor-like talons.

 

Crack.

 

And of watching it hang in tatters.

Watching it peel; the layers,

Stripping myself like white paint.