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It's A Condition

Pen Name Pending

The cradle of my being 


It burns, 


fights back 

to the environment it’s born of. 

It breaks under softest of  


though I don’t know if I’ve ever scratched softly— 

always carved 

with bitten claws. 

Sharp white remnants 

to crescents 

to cavernous holes 

in the outer layer— 

constant compulsion. 


to momentary eases 

in now crawling out of this shedding cocoon. 

Deep red pulled from another scab, 

more dye to the under nails,  


to any rub of grass, 

unwashed fabric, 

shoulder brush. 

Rubbed raw, 


constant cracking in this 

fragile facade of protection. 


can you stand in constant infection? 

Look at yourself—  




How can you stand the crusting? 

Never pretty pink, 

always yellow 

and red 

chronically diseased. 

I never got to grow out of it. 

All I got were constant flares 

and no explanations 

besides the largest organ  

of my body can’t stand 

the world it’s supposed to protect me from. 

No solutions 

just more steroids, 

and creams, 

and shots, 

and specialists visits, 

and pills. 

If you miss one, 

you look like you bathed in acid. 

Sometimes I wish I did— 

scrubbed off this layer, 

peel away until I got something better. 

My second biggest prayer has always been for new skin. 

That I could exist without constant worry, 

that it would all just itch a little less. 

That it would stop fighting against me. 

Spring 2024

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