I’m molting. My forehead, my nose, my cleavage and most disturbing, my scalp. My vacation bubbling on my arms and back. Puckering and flaking off of me. My holiday peeling away. I scratch my scalp, flecks are weaved into my hair. When I brush my hair, bits of me dot the sink. My roommate informs me that I’m disgusting. She doesn’t burn or peel or have tan lines, ever. She is perfect. I’m disgusting.
I have inexplicable tan and burn lines. A diagonal band across my wrist as if I wore a watch. Streaks on my calves. Dots of redness on my shoulder. The sun finger painting. My skin the canvas for a Pollack. Splotches of tan and burn.
I pick at the skin, peeling away snorkeling, saltwater in my mask and the plastic smell when I inhaled. Peeling away kissing the accountant from Detroit. Blame it on lava rocks, Mother Ocean, the moon, the black sand beach. Peeling away dirty words he said to me in bed and sweet ones he later sent to me in a text.
The sun had burned my forehead drying away thoughts about work and how I’m moments from being fired. With the red blotches on my knees, the irritation of the hem on my skirt had scratched away the alcoholism stealing my father, bleeding his insides, bloating his liver, killing him. The sun burned away my stress.
The sunburn browns into tan, almost blending except for the flaking near my elbow. The skin underneath looks the same. It doesn’t look pinker or whiter or newer or vulnerable. I’m shedding skin. I’m molting. Right back to who I was, who I am.