Paint Stripper |a poem about abusive relationships|

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.*

Paint Stripper.

you assume

my voice is insignificantly lilliputian.

i say it

to have earmarks of your commitment

and your assumption to be questionable

for i,

feel the grains of your sandpaper hands

with every hair,

every fiber,

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


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