Shedding Skin

16,000 kilometres, 16,000 more
reasons to be away.
With every breath
the world grows smaller,
each tender tendon,
aching muscle
screams: inertia!
becoming mildew.

Acrid smells remind,
memories served cold,
a cautionary tale.
The universe, it grows
wider still.
You an I farther removed,
you, black hair, my face,
a pathway towards never-ending possibilities.

No forks in my road, just
a beaten old track, bracken encroaching,
boulders for clamouring,
blackened space for grey matter,
silhouettes for friends.
As one dies quietly on a hospital bed,
another leaps feet first
into that deep unknown,

I dream of cells rejuvenating,
gardens growing,
shedding skin.

Iggi Zhou is zine-maker, writer of poetry and short fiction based in Melbourne, Australia.  Her work has appeared in Vallum Contemporary Poetry, Flash Frontiers Journal and The Red Corner.  She is also the creator and producer of Colour Yarns Podcast, an audio platform of stories by people of colour.

To view other poems published in this issue please visit Vallum’s website.

Vallum magazine is also available in digital format. Featuring additional content such as: AUDIO and VIDEO recordings of selected poets, further poems, interviews, essays, and MORE!

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