Breakup Letter to Eczema
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.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR