i used to be Vain by Sarah Grace

i used to be Vain
Sarah Grace

i used to be Vain
i was able to stare at myself in the mirror

even if I saw flaws

I would still stare.

now all I see is you.

the marks you left.
the marks you left when you grabbed

at my chest.

like it was yours
like you were trying to pull my breasts from my body.
like you owned them
like you were trying to take them Back.

i used to be Vain
I used to be able to stare at myself

explore myself
in the shower

But now all I can do
is keep my arms locked


like you’re still there

trying to take them from me.

My body isn’t mine anymore

you took that away from me too

whether I like it or not

it’s yours

you stole it.

You took it from me the moment you left

the bruises.
the marks that let you lay claim to my body

like a brand
your hands the white-hot iron

I never understood the statistics about people
drowning in the shower.

but now I do

you sit there


unable to move

to think

to breathe.

When I’m finally able to move

I’m scrubbing.

scrubbing away at your marks 

like they were drawn with magic marker


I scrub until my skin is

so raw
so red

that you barely notice the marks

I scrub until

all you can see is red.


But that’s how you like your girls

isn’t it?


Sarah Grace is a sophomore psychology major who misses being creative after college stole her motivation to do anything artistic. Poetry gave that back to her.


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