What Emerges from the Chrysalis

Sometimes I feel like I'm just
living under my skin.
Like I could claw it all off
and something else would emerge
with fleshy new wings.

Cavities in the bones
where bones should not be,
air instead of organs,
intestines strung along antennae
that twitch and lurch
in overexposure
meat meeting light
where light should not see.

grotesque under a microscope
sky, diagrams twisted
into anatomy's cruel joke,
playing with trick mirrors
to mangle a too-long finger
into the guise
of a human hand.

Skin only stretches –
taut to bursting –
to accommodate the skeleton beneath.

About the Author

Z. Unger Bell has only ever lived in states that start with the letter V. They've been writing poetry ever since they got bored during a rainstorm in a 7th-grade math class and accidentally wrote a lengthy poem about frogs. They've had poetry published by the Live Poets Society of New Jersey and their local newspaper, and when they're not writing or musing upon amphibious friends, they can be found playing music (ukulele, euphonium, or piano), knitting while listening to podcasts, or wandering aimlessly around libraries.