Spring/Fall 2020

Bleach

by Christina Miranda

It had been months since she had genuinely looked down at the condition of her bathroom sink. 

Chipped off-white porcelain began to peek through the cloud of black mold like the full moon after a thunderstorm. 

She scrubbed vigorously at the surface with an old bleach-soaked sponge and her bare brown hands. The air became heavy from her open mouth attempting to keep the intoxicating smell of stinging chemicals out of her nostrils. Yet, no matter how hard she pressed against the mold, it only bloomed with a greater ease. 

Looking up at the hazy, water-stained mirror, thick strands of her curly black hair fused to her temples. The bags under her sunken eyes were much darker than the night before. The dryness kept her from blinking. 

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the older man standing in the shower behind her. He looped his weathered thumbs through the space between his braided leather belt and light khaki pants. His pale blue eyes looked over every curve on her body with a smirk growing at the corner of his thin, pink lips. When he was done with her, he stepped out of the glass frame with a grin to himself. 

Cloudy streaks of pink and brown trickled down like rivers on a map towards the rusted drain. 

Chiming voices of the bachelorette party rang in her ears as they asked her how she stayed so tan in the winter and the over exaggerated pronunciations of “gracias” cheered at her as they left. 

By the time she had cleared away a small portion of the sink’s imperfections, the skin, fat, and muscle had been eaten away. Her hands had become nothing more than stark, white bone.

Almost pretty. 

An empty rumble shook her stomach. She quietly regretted eating nothing more than the dry kale salad her coworker had sworn would help with her wide hips. 

Her caramel skin slowly melted away, as if honey were being poured into a hot cup of breakfast tea. What remained on her forearms draped over her wrists like an old, fraying sweater.

She scrubbed away at the boy who told her “Isn’t that what Mexican girls are into?”

She scrubbed at her mother who demanded she never come home again after abandoning her for a ruthless city that would only rob her blind.   

She scrubbed at the numbing feeling which kept her in bed through half a college freshman semester. 

She scrubbed until everything was washed away, until her skeletal tips became cracked glistening porcelain.


Christina Miranda is the Literature Editor for Latinx Spaces, a publication dedicated towards showcasing Latinx writers, artists, and culture. Originally from El Paso, Texas, she currently lives in Austin.

Spring/Fall 2020