I only noticed it when it was already grown thick enough to make my usual clothes unwearable,
Disgusted and fascinated both,
I ran an apprehensive hand across my midriff
and found my shell was smooth, nut hard
and pearly if you looked at the right angle…
In response I filled my dresser with lotions and lemon wax
in case I needed to be shiny.
(there is nothing quite like that showroom finish…)
I was more heavily layered across my heart
which I suppose made sense.
Days passed and I watched the change slowly glaze over over me,
like syrup over a cold teaspoon,
and found it only speeded up when I read or watched the news,
unlike poor Gregor
who metamorphed in one night.
Finally one day I was completely encased,
and my friends stopped trying to get me to a spa,
or a bar,
“but you have a pretty face!”
And my mother decided the neighbors would talk anyway,
so the curtains were opened.
And I did crosswords with my shiny pointed pincer,
and learned the names of all the constellations as I lie
on a thick furry rug under the window,
gazing out at the night,
studying the stars,
and wondering if I was hard enough to reflect back
the lights in the sky.