the selkie

you left remnants of your presence
today – your toothbrush; tiny hairs
in the shower, coiled like secrets.
seeing them makes me feel
like I’m packed full of curled
fiddlehead ferns that are waiting
to open into full growth.
I censor my own words, my poems,
my very thoughts, for fear
they might prove unwelcome
to you. everything is pretty
and sugary sweet on the surface,
but inside I feel myself slowly
dying to break free.

I long to rip out of my skin
like a werewolf, to let the
beast out. I don’t even know
what it would say, what rough
shape I would wear, if I slipped out
of my pelt like a selkie
leaving her coat by the fireside,
returning to her soul’s secret home,
the dark deep sea of night
and solitude, knowing
she will come back
in the morning to hearth
and home, still craving
that stolen freedom
to wear whatever wild thoughts
she wants for those few,
precious hours. she lives
whole lifetimes in that time
unbounded by mortal
clocks and schedules.
during the day she belongs
to you. but at night
she is her own creature.
you could burn her pelt
and keep her forever
by your side, but you
would no longer have
a wild creature that comes
to you by choice.

Published by

R. Brookes McKenzie

what fresh hell is this

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