This piece “Paint Stripper” is something I wrote in my first-year creative writing class as a response to an article we read about abusive relationships and discrimination in class. Personally, I have never been in an abusive relationship but my heart goes out to those who have survived and over come them. I wanted to capture how belittled someone can feel when faced with these challenges of being quieted and wanting to call about for help but either not being able to, or being too afraid. To give the full effect of being silenced and not feeling of full worth due to the relationship I chose not to use any capital “i’s”. However, in some areas, you will see that the voice of the poem still has some power in the way it questions the relationship, but by the end it the fire that was slowly burning within has widdled away. I have worked very hard to critique this poem and have spent hours doing so. This piece may give strong graphic or sad images but I hope that you will find speaks the truth in its words.
*If you think you are in an abusive relationship or if you are, call the AssaultWomen’sens Hotline at 1-866-863-0511 or TTY 1-866-863-7868. or visit their website here.*
my voice is insignificantly lilliputian.
i say it
to have earmarks of your commitment
and your assumption to be questionable
feel the grains of your sandpaper hands
with every hair,
down to every bone of my being
taring my skin away in strips
like old coloured paint
i stand unclothed,
protruding radiant white bones.
when did creating a flawless façade
become a more vital goal
than unequivocally loving
i speak in excuses
afraid to dredge up the polluted truth
i feel lonely, misplaced.
secure inside my silence
so I keep my mouth corked
holding in my crimson, bloody