In My Skin – Kate Holden


in my skin

On a day of parched, rough northerlies I sat at my window, scraped raw with hurt.

I wrote of heroin as a scaly green lizard wrapped tight around my mind, blinking its cold eyes at me, blinding me.

Heroin first blesses its users with enchantment and then parches them of sensation.

The drug had its own psyche, embedded in mine.

My soul seemed glassed with ice.

Barely anything made me feel shame anymore. But the hot stench of that remorse was sickening. Nothing would rinse it from me.

I was brave. I turned the fist of my heart until the knuckles showed.

We were a rough team, for all the tenderness between us.

The righteousness of the flawed id frightening.

Terror a thin mucus at the back of my throat.

My old little cottage was swollen with stale heat and the smell of an old life.

‘I think you eat dictionaries, just to aggravate us with the big words’

It was winter and the world was closing in with darkness.

There was something repellent about those memories. It was as if I had a new skin that would peel if I brushed it against old things.


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