It begins as a tingling in my legs,
unpleasant like something squirmy trying
to get out, something huger than my skin,
wriggling, bursting to get free.
Without ceremony it spreads, bulging in
my chest, prickles poking through my
shoulder blades. Suppressing only makes
it worse, I need to run, to fly, to breathe-
"What's wrong?" you ask.
I cannot answer, it is taking all my
willpower not to scream, or punch an
innocent bystander. Would I? Whether I
would or not I've never found out,
I just leave.
"I love you," you say. I still cannot reply,
the tears have been melting my face, but
now they trickle down shiny scales.
External sensations have become
insensible, overpowered by the
overwhelming rage of barely managed fire
within. The sharpness of my teeth meets
an unfeeling leathery lip.
I go downstairs and leave the building. I
don’t know if I remembered my keys. I run
just as reptilian wings free themselves
from my back, they flutter, stretch out wide
but I still want this thing inside me, this
thing that now is me, to leave. I am
ashamed of it, afraid of its newness and
my inability to control it. It's happier now
in the open air where it can thrash about
without restraint. I let it, no longer worried
it will lash out at something or someone
We fly far and long, my arms and lungs
ache, but still the fire burns in my whole
body waiting to be unleashed. We soar,
sore and angry until suddenly I'm alone
I look down but I don't need to look to know
the scales are gone. My lip feels soft again
beneath my rounded teeth. The wings still
flap but gentler now, quietly bringing me
back to the ground then softly folding and
painlessly absorbing back into my
shoulders. I head home.