about the author

Sarah Rose Etter’s chapbook Tongue Party is available for pre-order from Caketrain Press. Her work has appeared in elimae, The Collagist, PANK Magazine and more. Find out more at sarahroseetter.com.

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Skin Roast

Sarah Rose Etter

The first piece of skin came off slowly. Underneath, I was many shades.

You stared out the window, at the sea. You had been doing that for fourteen days. It was the fifteenth day that made me do it.

“What would you like for dinner?” I asked, still stripping. You didn’t look.

The second piece of skin was larger, peeled off in a bigger sheet. If I held it up to the window, it was clear enough to see through. I could make out the lump of you.

“Not that hungry,” you said. “Don’t really want anything.”

The third piece of skin came from the front of my leg and then my shin was bare blood pulsing. The sea was busy and kept you from seeing still.

I knew I would make you something anyway, would roast you something, would bake you something.

“I’ll put on a roast,” I said.

You nodded.

When I had peeled off all of my skin, I made it into a pile. I was never good at patience. I had cleaned the floor very well first. All of the skin had to go somewhere. Why weren’t you looking?

The sea was keeping you. I went to the fridge and pulled out the roast.

I put the roast with the seasoning into the crock pot. I said your name.

“Name,” I said. “NAME.”

You kept at the sea.

I looked at the pile of myself on the floor. You still hadn’t moved.

I scooped up the bits of my dead self. I walked to the crock pot and poured myself in.

You still didn’t look, not once, not even after I’d put all the skin in, not even when the scent of myself simmering filled our air.

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