The Snake

By Jessica June Rowe

Shedding her skin is painful; she only does it every 100 years, when she can no longer bear the easy bruising and varicose veins.

However, when she emerges, skin sweet and shiny-taut, there is no hurt. She wonders why but can’t recall; her sharpest memories are back in the cells of her old skin. It remains—the whole, wrinkled shell of her—in bed with an elderly man who married her when she was beautiful.

Beautiful again, she attends her old-skin funeral and watches him and the children of that body cry. She cries, too. In 100 years, she’ll understand why.

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Jessica June Rowe writes with her headphones on so no one will try to talk to her.

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