Penny Stirling

Skin Ashore

A stranger stole my seal-skin.
Supralittoral I'm stranded: human, naked,
burned by sun and embarrassment.
Unsettled, single-skinned, kinless,
I sit ashore unsure whether to sink
somatically or subsist and submerge
my sea-soul to assimilate into soil-society.

Skinning knife eases fleeceless
terra firma life, gifting a man's hide
to hide a selkie's shame.

Penny Stirling is a transcript editor who mistrusts the ocean and imagines all selkies as southern fur seals. Her poetry and short fiction have appeared in Strange Horizons, Lackington's, Goblin Fruit, Heiresses of Russ 2014, and others.