It is night and she unzips her skin at the seam over her spine, spilling out muscle and bone and blood. It is night and she unfolds from the body she wears during the day and goes walking.
The asphalt of the road is cool against the pads of her feet, the summer air sticky around her throat like a necklace made of seaweed and car exhaust. It is night and the sun's reflection is staring down and she walks towards the ocean.
It is night and she is staring out and the sea is like her lungs and she can breathe again here, for a little while. The very edge of the waves touches her toes on the wet sand and the lights of airplanes pass over head.
It is morning and she drags herself back to her discarded skin in the house she hates to live in. She climbs inside and crouches in the shadow spaces of herself, waiting for it to be night.
Ashley Dean is a writer from the American Midwest who focuses on poetry and flash fiction. She has been previously published in Collision Literary Magazine and Diverse Voices Quarterly. She likes to experiment with the contrast between every day events and an inclination towards the surreal.