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Breakup Letter to Eczema

CAS for Database

Evy Shen

Statesboro, Georgia

Statesboro High School


maybe it’s wrong to part / ways in a letter / but

you've become integral to my identity / everything

since my birth revolved around your axis: / no sun, no chlorine, no dairy / but

our priorities diverge / i like to play tennis & piano / but

you cling to my fingers, unable to let me out of your death grip / nightly

i scratch myself to death trying to get you off my body / i’m embarrassed when my friends

see the red marks blistered onto my skin / the way you get heated

swelling out of proportion / & it wasn’t that way before / at first we complemented

each other / you made me conscious of what i ate, I tossed the processed food

and sugar / you taught me nourishment and self-care / warm baths ten to twenty minutes,

fragrance-free soaps / i tamed your beast of a personality / but our relationship

is an asymptote / until you approach zero i will never be at my max / & this series

has no end, no convergence / so take away

your dried blood, scabs, and the smudges on my sundress.

Note: This piece was previously published in Issue 20 of Blue Marble Review in December of 2020.


"Breakup Letter to Eczema" tackles what it means to live with a body that is hurting—this poet masterfully weaves together images of strength and youth and grief to touch every reader’s heartstrings and illustrate a powerful message about disease and empathy.

Evy Shen is a high school junior from Georgia. Her writing has been published / is forthcoming in Passages North, the Penn Review, Kissing Dynamite, and Blue Marble Review, among others. Her favorite feeling is sitting in a safely parked car, in pounding rain whilst jamming to the #1 British boyband One Direction.


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