she comes home after a long day & begins to undress—

she pulls each pin out of her head & lets her hair down—

she undoes the buttons & unties the laces of her corset,

hears her bones crack as she inhales.


in the looking glass she sees a pretty face:

spiders’ legs for lashes & a lovely set of fangs.

the serum in the medicine cabinet is venom, all her own, & is said to promote youth

(but is there a point to staying young? Is there a point to getting all dressed up when you have nowhere to go? It’s all so silly).


the only thing she is wearing now is a ribbon

tied tightly around her neck (to keep her head from rolling off).

& now for the removal of the skin, which is more constricting than the corset.


when she peels it away, it lies there on the bathroom floor, all translucent & dry.

for a moment she considers throwing it away because she has no use for it anymore.

but instead, she hangs up the old skin & puts it toward the back of the closet, where all things soon-to-be-forgotten end up

(the skin did not forget her, though).


Autumn Hutson (she/her) is a Black-American poet and author who identifies herself more by her astrological birth chart than other earthly achievements. Her writing includes themes of spirituality, occultism, mythology, and sapphism (from time to time).