When my hair gets too long,
my scalp itches like a bog.
The inch-long flips behind my ears
are robust brown broomsticks
which witches can ride. Cats howl from the cemetery
at the base of my skull. The tide rolls out
and comes back along my bangs,
carrying with it discarded cardboard
and crumpled soda cans. Seeming an army,
a breeze through my hair feels
caked in mud, dropping
to its elbows to crawl
through vine-swinging jungles, breath stilted
in the swampy air. Certainly, I think,
some thick, exotic species
resides here on my head:
some long-forgotten moth, a mushroom
So I wash it
three times a day. I chop it off.
I let nothing come of it. The lavish locks–
banana curls the color
of chocolate pudding–are not worth
the burden of the in-between.
I am starting to believe
(A/N: I am so close to 500 followers! It’s so exciting!)
Purple reigns just long enough
that we may retaliate
against the coming of the night.
Lamps burn yellow. Our skyscrapers,
stoic in daylight, morph
into vertical contrails, bright
like those of glowing rocketships.
Even at cabbage farms,
we ignite our emblems of nocturnal resistance,
miles-apart beams glowering
at the distant glory of sunset.
Wind turbines flash
their beady red eyes. Anything left unlit
is unclaimed. We are swathed
in uncertain gray.
Strung along highways at night,
these artificial suns are our only definition.
But look at our creation!
A constellation on Earth!
A satellite will turn its eye to us
and see what we see upon turning ours to it.
In our fear of the night,
we have become the night.
photo by author
I remember when overused pillows
were a life force. There was something mysterious
behind sud bubbles, and towels
snarled in the dryer. My nervous habits
revealed something significant about the
universe. When I snuck ice cream
at midnight, I tricked God
into thinking I would not gain weight (it worked
when I still had energy for exercise).
And when I read a book,
I really read it, felt
every character arch, swerved
with the plot, ducked
and wept and yelled.
I made friends and enemies, fell
in love, clutched a broadsword
in my little hand. But now,
I am untouchable.
Fireworks cannot shake me. A rollercoaster
is a chair in motion.
God tricked me back, in the most malicious
of ways––I believed I possessed some
special power of attribution before he took
my Midas touch away.
I can no longer hear the mountains snore.
The stars won’t speak to me.