Why sometimes I seem so scaley

I should have known better
than to shed my skin
but the hard scraping rub
felt so good, so freeing.

Without my scales
I could finally
warm to a touch
but I was unprepared
for the icey burn
of indifference --
it raised blue welts
and whole parts of me
sloughed away.

My new skin is
flexible, resilient.
In it I can dance.
I can fly across rocks
that might have snagged
my former self.
I need no callous.
My glitter draws men's eyes.

I should have know better
than to shed my skin
without considering
what would remain
but I have seen it now
and it is I
and we are unafraid.

        -acm  (12/95,3/96)