The Bare Essentials

Two days ago
I got frustrated.
and I peeled off my skin.
I don’t know
if that is shocking
but I got angry
in it.

It wasn’t very taxing:
First I ripped out my hair.
Pulled out spare stumps
and plaited, coarsely-
my naked cross
(not) to bear.

When that was done
my scalp burnt slowly
and I got agitated--
So I dropped the braids,
put hands to face
and slowly worked away at it.

I toiled, did not spin
and my eyes bloomed out,
but my head was bleeding, fiercely.
Still I was bored,
as I stood, scalped:
A prawn in bloody clothing.

I kept on going
(from my jaw)
Removing protective
There goes my neck;
out pops a bone,
and lo!
My pulse sits beating.

I kept on in,
Kept; kept on
until the ivory all shone wetly
I sit appeased
And toss my rug:
flay it like
a giant pizza.

Roberta Lawson

If you've any comments on this poem, Roberta Lawson would be pleased to hear from you.