Sadie Burch

Women in Broken Showers

I found a haven, a heaven
	in the forest that was loved
with porcelain sinks.


When I realized my body was touchable
	my rib cage left my body

and I abandoned it too     when
		they hugged me and smiled.


I run the washcloth
	under the sink, dip 
	it in the     teapot’s

	boiling water and

	I scrub up my thighs
	to scrub off the skin. 


My organs cut themselves and their friends 
	out with pocket knives,
		wondered somewhere

beyond this skin,
	and I smiled too.


I take my naked body and put it between the shower	
	and the sink.
I take the cold water and pour
	it into my hair. It falls	

onto the bathmat. I spread the shampoo 
	between my hands and scalp.
	The water runs down my face 
and the suds stick to my eyebrows.


I’m on my bathroom floor
	calling my mom

I’m telling 
	I can’t do this anymore 

and she’s saying she knows.

And I’m telling her I don’t know 
	why this happens to me

and she doesn’t know either. 
And she is on the Atlantic,

I am on Michigan
	And if she is a girl broken,

		I am a girl breaking.


Steam rolls off the pasta
pot. It circles up to the ceiling 
out of the sink.

My mom teaches
me to run the water cold,
	my grandma teaches
	me how to shower 
in sinks. 

Sadie Burch attends Interlochen Arts Academy; Burch won first place in the Charles Crupi Memorial Poetry Contest for Michigan High School students. For more information on the contest, please visit the Albion College English Department website.

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