The Chrysalis

August 14, 2020

 

 

 

The Chrysalis

                                                                  a folk tale

 

My blood comes back to me in steel

 

drums/heaving rolls of skin like felled

 

             trees lifted to me on hydraulic arms.

 

             My body a glove of skin shed

 

to bleed new, and from everywhere

 

a legion of hands begin my reconstruction.

 

              Sit wait shift weight

 

              don’t stick to the earth

 

before each raw inch can be reskinned.

 

There is a room deep in the house for no

 

              one/no thing but a mechanical whisper

 

              birthed into the ducts, barrels of blood

 

kept spinning. Deeper still

 

is a room damp and dank as the purple

 

              jungle night, stockpiles of skin kept misted

 

              and crisp like market produce.

 

Each day I am degloved/re-

 

skinned, pumped back full—

 

 

 

 

Sam Stokley is a disabled artist and educator from Peoria, IL living in Minneapolis, teaching creative writing through the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop. A 2019 finalist for BOAAT Press' and Driftwood Press' chapbook prizes, and a 2020 semifinalist for the Tomaž Šalamun Prize, Sam's writing can be found now and soon inside Barrelhouse, The Arkansas International, Brevity, Fairy Tale Review, Poetry City, and other homes. Sam was born and lives with recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa. Follow him on IG @bovinii.

 

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