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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.

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