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The Spotlight

"The Spotlight is where we preserve our past, celebrate our present, and encourage our future contributors."

-CSUDH English Graduate Association

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Chemical Burns

By Brenda Sanchez-Barrera |

Chemical Burns was written in a state of grief and anger. It explores the depths at which heartbreak can affect one’s soul. A soul having experienced that type of pain is never the same again, but great things can come into fruition from that pain. This piece is my prize that made every sleepless night, every tear shed, and every emotion felt, worth it. It was written at odd hours of the night, constantly rearranged until it made sense of the turmoil inside my mind. It is said that heartbreak takes many forms; Mine just so happens to take the form of poetry. - Brenda Sanchez-Berrera

Chemical Burns

You live in the walls of my brain and heart, your name etched in blood right


I try to scrub, erase your trace, and write other lovers’ names in darker shades, but

you dug your nails in so deep, you’ve left a scar consisting of 6 goddamn letters.

Thought if I threw bleach at the wall, you’d bubble and burn and blister away, but

with every chemical added you just stained more, you seeped in, and spread your

poison further into my bones.

I’m just glad that I can wash the floor of blood you left behind with my bedsheets

that you were once entangled in. With the bedsheets that you once suffocated me

in, so I can hide the relationship you once suffocated me in.

And once I’m done, I’ll hang you up. I’ll let you soak and simmer and scorch in

the sun, much like how you left me waiting for you when you were done.

In time, I know you’ll fade in the harsh rays,

and I’ll pretend I don’t notice the chemical burns you caused.


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