Wednesday, August 31, 2011


My mother digs her fingers through my scalp
On the wooden porch my father built
With charred fingers and a sunburnt face
Pieces of my hair fall onto the wood grain
I run my hands through my new short hair
And hate it
I will wear this same hair cut for the next ten years
Maybe eleven
You never liked a woman with short hair
Severe was the word you had chosen
You liked your women care-free and limber
Bodies bending to suit your needs
To catch your heavy head before it hit the cement
We were teenagers too long
We were lost on a dirt road but not discontent
You breathed into my exposed neck
You pulled me into your clandestine embrace
Near a horse farm somewhere off the beaten path
I was telling you a story about the way I had sliced my finger
While slicing roast beef, a strange situation for a vegetarian
I was clever in your company
Blushed and batted my eyelashes
As you talked incessantly
I thought it was because you were nervous
But I would learn years later when we lived in a wooden apartment
Together with many books and musical instruments
That the only time when you were really paying attention
When I could look into the full moon of your face
Was when you were talking about yourself
What sort of love is this
That you have given me:
A lonely love that fails to light the electric stove
That cries with the tea kettle
That apologizes to no one