New Age Countess Báthory, Leslie Benigni
CW: mentions of blood, death
How this old flesh both
Rips at the seams and cracks like glass
As I peer into the mirror and witness my decay----
red-veined-green-eyes that are unknown to me... (and yet it is I.)
When I am done with this skin, I will fingernail under the red threads and
rip them out.
When I am done with this skin, what remains will be new flesh.
I remind myself this is
necessary, vital even. (painted locks into steam)
When so much has been taken from me it is time to dye.
And I know that in doing so, killing the younger yet older flesh will
provide another immortal glow
from what remains on copper scented roots.
And what will grow/will flow
down the pale moon breasts in bloody rust
under the fingernails and soak porcelain sinks
the middle of my torso
is the stream
A seam of a cicada-self thread crawling out from
underneath cracked and ripped and born anew
in a divine milk body with red curls.
It is I.
That is the new flesh.
Leslie Benigni is a current MFA candidate at Bowling Green State University in Ohio though she originally heralds from Pittsburgh, PA. Her work has been published in Perhappened Magazine, Analogies & Allegories Literary Magazine, Flyover Country Literary Magazine, Goat's Milk Magazine,:Lexicon Literary Journal, and LitAthenaeum. Find her on Instagram: @benignileslie and Twitter: @lbeni894.