Peer Review by Ash (United States)

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By: Deleted User

PROMPT: Polar Opposite

I would use my skin as an apology if you would let me.

To tattoo myself into forgiveness

Maybe if I covered myself in enough ink you would forget what color I started as

I know it makes you stumble and stutter the words on your tongue

That code switching feels like the mourning of your marrow, but our bones are of the same color

So let me strip my skin off my body, tie it to my spine and wave you a white flag

I surrender my pigment

To your imagination like children who play make believe

I remember when we were children

You said I resembled your palms

would you offer them to me once more

See, I haven’t prayed in a while

So I could use two extra hands

I don’t know him that well, but surely

Surely God held you a little longer to the sun because He knew

You were the braver of us two

That the darker you are, the more courage life takes

Take it as permission to write your own hymns

I will sculpt myself ivory, a mold to your music

Slivers of white lined with slivers of black

Together, piano keys for every one of your verses.


If you love only the parts of me that remind you of yourself, then

Take my tongue

It will learn any language you ask of it

I too, dream only in our voices.

You see laughter has no history to uphold

Take, take my eyes

They have always belonged to you anyways.

They can be a peace offering from my soul to yours

Without them, I will only see black but

That’s never been a problem for me

Maybe if we were both blind,

You could think me woman enough to love you

If so, I will carve my skin into two tombstones,

Eulogizing the spaces between us

In the grave we are reduced to pebbles,

Mingled nakedness

Weeds will intertwine like fingers


Holding hands without hesitation

So don’t mistake me for anything but earth

Humans forget we are just dirt aspiring to be dragonflies

I know

My skin is too foreign for hugs to feel like home,

So lie inside of me

There is just enough hollow in my rib cage for our hearts to play hide and seek

I will whisper you something between a sunset and a sunrise


And when I let you go

When the weight of our ancestry buckles our backs and crumbles all around us

I will let you rebuild and I

I will carry my pieces and sew them new into any reality that allows us to coexist

To be stitched of the same thread

Somewhere there is a poem with all the healing we need

I will be an artist enough for the both of us.

I will let you go.

I will tell myself that the world isn’t ready for us

That you are too holy for anything but heaven

I will meet you there

As beautiful as I remember.




Peer Review

Opening line: I would use my skin as an apology if you would let me. It says a lot about the character right away and makes me want to read more and more.

At first, I thought this was about cutting. Then I read more and realized that the narrator is talking about how they have different colored skin from the person being addressed. Then I reread it and still get a sense you're talking about cutting in the beginning. So: does this story have self-harm undertones or was that unintentional

Reviewer Comments

I really like how you wrote this more in a poem format than a narrative but still tell a story.