“Shedding Honey-Soaked Skin” by A. Selby

Abigail Selby is a student born and raised in Northern California currently studying creative writing with an interest in publishing. Both in and aside from her studies, she continues to evolve her passion for writing, while endlessly searching for new ways in which we may reinvent ourselves through words.

Artwork by Kirill Gatavan

Ready for the Kill

Ladies and Gentlemen: Let loose from my cage,
feral and unhinged.

It is as though my life only exists in those small moments
where I feel alive after wishing myself obliterated.

Back from the dead!
Sitting here, vibrating with a different electricity
ready for viewers to step up, come up,
come and watch the show!The beast!
She who bares her jaw like never before!

Let’s see how long this lasts, this high, ‘till silence returns to static

Revival (Reaping)

The corpse of myself
Digging back the remains of each night
Left unsaid. Consummated by every intention
of growing back what is gone,
And what may come back to haunt.


The face of the moon
It’s divinity unmatched, I lack
What every face it possesses reveals to me.
They speak, but never tell
Show, but always hide

When the sun rises, and strangles their deity, they swallow, and eat it away.


Shedding skin is not always a passive
process. To let go of ourselves, we must also let go
of others. The pain of detachment exists
between the layers of skin, sliced and slivered—
Until fragmentation dissolves and we create new skin
as we learn to let the other go.
It may live in our pockets, clinging with threads of ourselves
If only for small moments.
Peeling becomes ripping, turn to tears, yet at the end
we wash ourselves clear of this dead thing.


I wonder where I lead myself next, if dripping down that Styx.
That rapture, of oblivion—Gone.
As if figmented entirely out of my own. Weeping to God somewhere, but
only talking to myself out past the garbage cans and dust.

Staring back behind myself, looming over every inch of myself: nothing but dirt piling up.
The same in the pews, next Sunday to come. Eyes open wide, dust off my chin as people pray.
And I fucking writhe to crumbling worship—cross myself out.


Parting cloud cover—differential;
How do I explain myself to that: Do I surround myself
to the chasm I surround impartially—
rid myself of another correlation;
Where in this foliage do I see myself, and see as I view fitting—

Ill-fitting of me, and yet all the same under smoke.

Herself, Wholefully

You’ll never see me
Dancing at midnight
Fluttering, porous—night-like!

Making with shadows
cascaded without light
Life, as we know it
springs up!
Just to greet us
albeit unknown.
That very night
awake or alone
Dancing at midnight,
swearing divine,
but Love—
Exists on my own.

Twirling, sheathed,
Dancing alone.


Though I know you: devoted voice, sterile silence
So came back the fog.
Fixed balance—Burning stars
Life, after all, is good.

Radiation; How We Weld

There’s a strip of red cutting down your cheek.
Trailing, it’s coating me too—painted.
I just feel you. I feel you
and every inch
that should be with me.

You and I, we’re bathed in light
swathed in its glimmer, but we
are the worst and best of our kind.

I stretch it out further, get lost in every thread and color I find
You in it. Me as well.

Something familiar, like purple, radiates; coating
like poison—to kiss you again.
There’s a strip of red so thick it spreads our lips

And makes us whole.

Sometimes, I Think Myself, too

You wear your palms on a cloak, conversing yourself to something that’s never been taught.
You wear your eyes with gaslight rings that claw their way out.
You wear your tongue with the bravado of a hundred men who died long ago.
Enclosed, enraptured, snared and unseen—all these things you bleed that are
staining you, staining me.

From the Editor:

We hope that readers receive In Parentheses as a medium through which the evolution of human thought can be appreciated, nurtured and precipitated. It will present a dynamo of artistic expression, journalism, informal analysis of our daily world, entertainment of ideas considered lofty and criticism of today’s popular culture. The featured content does not follow any specific ideology except for that of intellectual expansion of the masses.

Founded in late 2011, In Parentheses prides itself upon analysis of the current condition of intelligence in the minds of these young people, and building a hypothesis for one looming question: what comes after Post-Modernism?

The idea for this magazine stems from a simple conversation regarding the aforementioned question, which drew out the need to identify our generation’s place in literary history.

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