Sorting Skins

Kim K. McCrea

Garage shelves are stacked with cardboard boxes bruised by rain leaking through the roof, water running down the walls.

I’m excavating artifacts out of translucent bins: ceramic beads, an elephant pin, a vintage 1950’s mohair sweater mottled by moths.

Once I took the Syntagma metro in Athens, descended down into the earth, past bones and marble ruins embedded in dust displayed under walls of glass.

Here’s a patchwork gypsy skirt I sewed, when? I pieced the faded batik rainbow rows without a pattern. I danced in my skirt to the Grateful Dead playing Jack Straw at the Faire. Is that another lie of memory? I sniff the cotton for traces of patchouli, hay bales, dried semen mingled with Aphrodite. It smells only of rust, another skin.

If I burn this ragged harlequin, will I forget who I was, then? I smooth the muslin down and fold it back into the bin.

Author Portrait

Kim K. McCrea worked as a Systems Analyst in IT for 25 years before returning to literature and letters. Kim recently won the Silver Creek Writers Residency/Treefort Wild West Prize for Creative Nonfiction and was named a finalist in Proximity Magazine's 2017 Essay Prize competition. Kim attended the Robert D. Clark Honors College and received her BA in English from the University of Oregon. She lives in Eugene, Oregon, where she wrangles her Labrador, Mercedes, and scouts for Great Blue Herons.

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