The water droplets are as scarred as she is

Her frail fingers, flushed from the shame 

of being a sculptor, 

trace the water droplets on the shower floor as 

she does her emaciated body. 


She’s sculpted, shaped and contorted 

and completely swallowed, herself to the bone,

because they always said that perhaps 

a smaller version of herself could be tolerable. 


So she shrunk herself as small as the puddles 

on the shower floor, and she posed below the portraits 

in the art gallery, and she let their eyes make absent conversation 

with every discarded sculpture of herself. 


And she returned to the shower, cold water to soothe 

the third-degree burns their stares left, and she traced the 

water droplets on the shower floor as they did her that night in the gallery.


It wasn’t always this way. 


But who can tell her that when she’s so fragile she can’t 

even stand, not in the shower, not in the gallery, not even

in the home that both raised her and broke her. 


Who can tell her that it’s not her fault, that she 

can’t help it, that she’s not inherently broken, 

when she spends every night in that wretched gallery—just to

go home to the water droplets that always screech 

when the salt hits them, for they have open wounds, too.


She’s so small, 

and perhaps that’s worse. 


Worse than being stuck on that shower floor, drowning  

in her failed attempts at pleasing someone who doesn’t

deserve any of it. 


Worse than looking in the mirror and seeing the 

same person whose stares burn her in the gallery every night.


But, it’s not her fault, and it wasn’t always this way, 

and she’s not broken. 


She’s just small.