Title 9 Complaint Against the Shower Curtain

What the fuck is this??

There are not one,

not two,

but three

gaps between

the shower curtain

and the wall,

allowing anyone to freely get a peek

at what’s inside

like looking through a peephole

in a door

or listening to the next room

with your ear

against the wall.

Seriously??

The one thing I want

during a shower is

peace

and you just took that

away from me?

Others able to get a peek

at what a woman’s body looks like

whenever they want?

Don’t you know that

I do not have a woman’s body?

That I am not Venus?

That I am not Aphrodite?

That I am simply me?

The strands of brown hair

slinking into the drain.

The red splotches

on my shoulders

I don’t even know what they are

or how they got there.

The red scar on my stomach

from when I had appendicitis in third grade,

the memory of when my mom would take me

down the hallway

into a waiting room with a fish tank

and I would make the eel talk

because that’s the kind of person I am

flooding over me

like the water dripping

down my back.

My veins

bleeding blue

like you could string them up

like fairy lights,

watch them glow

in the dimly lit sky

of my heart.

My heart glowing

as I slink into a towel.

Attempt to dry myself

quickly

so no one can see

the body

I never asked for.

Look, I know a body image poem

is the most 14 year old thing

I could ever write.

You have seen this poem before,

I know you have.

Maybe you have even written this poem before

on bathroom mirrors

and post it notes,

anything you could quickly find.

But even here,

standing in a communal bathroom shower,

the warm water hitting against my back

like a mallet to a bass drum,

I know

I am imperfect.

I am the last puzzle piece

that does not fit

with any of the other

puzzle pieces,

clunky and frustrating

and wrong.

I am the plastic piece in your dishwasher

that has broken off

and now you can’t use

the top rack

because it won’t pull out

of its home.

I am the chipped mug

you used to have your coffee in

but when you cut your tongue on me,

you threw me away.

I sing way too loudly

when I’m scared

and have panic attacks

in bathrooms,

hearts ticking

like little time bombs

against white porcelain

ready to explode

at any second.

I agonize over talking to you,

draft words I hope make sense

in my brain

but then lose them all

when I see your smile.

I love way too quickly

and resort to being alone

when I really need help.

I am not perfect.

This shower curtain

is the perpetrator of

my vulnerability,

allowing others to see

the internal organs

and emotions

that make up this body

that’s been given to me.

This body I’m still learning how to love,

even at eighteen,

even at nineteen,

probably forever

and that’s okay.

I just didn’t need other people

to see the battle,

to hear the war cry,

to know I’m not perfect

before they learned

who I really am:

Just a girl

trying her best

to live.

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