Inside Out

Peel off that skin
that doesn’t fit, has never fit.

Take that skin to a tailor,
who will prick it with pins
to suit your shape and size.

Wash that skin in the machine,
on the “delicate” cycle,
where warm water will tease away
its tautness.

Hang your skin on a clothesline
so the sun can kiss it dry.

Smooth from your
muscles and bones
the protruding angles of the past –
piercing blades of loss,
shards of bitter words –
and place them in a box.

Then let your skin glide
over smooth dunes of flesh,
embracing, like a fine silk stocking,
every assured step.

* * * * *

“Inside Out” comes from Unscathed, recently published by NightBallet Press.

Jennifer Hambrick ‘s first chapbook of poems, Unscathed, has been lauded for its “crystalline, poignant images” and for its “fresh palette of questions, longings and unadulterated class.” Jennifer’s poetry has also been published in Pudding Magazine, WestWard Quarterly, A Narrow Fellow, Common Threads, the 2013 Ohio Poetry Association anthology Everything Stops and Listens, the Columbus Creative Cooperative’s Ides of March anthology, and the Ohio Poetry Day Best of 2011 prizewinners’ collection. Jennifer won the Ohio Poetry Association’s 2013 Ides of March contest, was a prizewinner in The Poetry Forum’s 2011 William Redding Memorial Poetry Contest, and received multiple recognitions in the 2011 Ohio Poetry Day contests. She enjoys a lively schedule of featured poetry readings around Ohio. By day, Jennifer Hambrick is a classical musician and public radio broadcaster, producer, and blogger.