for mother.

I felt heavy the other day,
laid on my back and jumped out of my skin
grabbed a pair of scissors
cut each strand of hair out of my head
gathered them into a bouquet and
mailed them to my mother.

She opened the package and wept,
How will they call you beautiful?
What will they call you? Who will I call you?

She ripped the bouquet apart with a wide tooth comb
pulled open a jar of oil from under her sink and
smoothed the coils until they sagged enough to stick on a clay doll:
—an amulet adorned by my old things,
baby earrings, some teeth, a tattered dress swatch.
She gathered the curly buds and
prayed that I would feel the pressure of the hot glue binding.

I would tell her,
Flowers are pretty
sometimes
we cut them loose from their vines
so that we can keep them
and then they die.
My hair was dead already.

I refuse to become a corpse trying to carry a corpse.

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