SAM STOKLEY | 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.