Thin skin shed down to the ground
in privacy
shows the same face that shone
through the transparent scales
before, publicly
as clear now as then
as the emperor bathed in varnish
the tarnish of your soul
comes out in your smile,
publicly held,
your sharing means shares,
publicly held
shed as easily as the frown
you wear,
privately held

Divest a new layer,
with reams of portfolios,
bow to the reptile god
at the base of your cortex
live life like a viper,
see the world
in your own reflection
from the glare
of the skin sheath
covering your eyes,
all is bright around you
from the shine of your smile
reflected from the inside

bite and infect,
and covet the heels,
raid the nest eggs
and peel, and peel
turn your takings
into skin and shed
a skin that never changes
what’s revealed,


c. 2001, 2008 Evan Gilling


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