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Alien Skin

My hair is a plume over your chest, you twirl it around your fingers. “I am freedom,” I say, feeling a little high and totally poetic.

Your fingers still and I’m officially bored. I stretch into the child’s pose I’d seen on TV, my naked back, hard and long beside you. And you, you have to touch everything as if you own it. “You don’t have to do that you know,” you say, like you know anything. Your fingers trace the spine of this body I wear, stopping on the pink scar about half way down. “You don’t have to pretend you don’t need me.” You linger on the line of raised skin that itches when I swim in your pool.

I thought about drowning you the other day, watch you struggle and slap at me with your silly hands and then, in the last, showing my real self just like you want. But that would be a waste of skin. And there was more tequila in the bottle—I don’t like to drink alone.

Today, I shimmy from the sheets and put on the boots you bought me and nothing else. The soft leather fitting me better than this skin I wear. I’ve stopped looking at you and think, maybe today, after lunch. After you make a pitcher of margaritas to go with our sushi. Maybe then. While I drink, you’ll sink to the bottom of the pool, animated with waves made by the breeze. Or, I’ll wait for the sunset to put itself to bed over the city, watch the lights ignite one by one. That’s when I’ll tell my kind to come—offer up your body to one of them.

In the morning, I’ll trace the fresh scar on your back. “We match,” I’ll say, feeling your skin knitting together under my touch. You’ll make blueberry pancakes while we wait for your wife to come home. Yes, we will wait for her, then feed her some pancakes before offering her so much more.


Flash Fiction by Carmen Kern
Picture: her backbone by del mich under CC BY 2.0

Published in Summer 2017

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