when she told me,

“Straighten your hair, just to see what it looks like.”

all i heard was,

“Straighten your hair, so you look like me.”

and i wondered then, if i did

how quickly would she tell me it looked so much better

without its curls and its naps

how lovely it was falling in straight lines over my shoulders

how quickly would she shove her fingers into my scalp

just to see how far her efforts had gone

in rescuing me from my natural state of being

in colonizing my body, bringing me a gospel

i had not subscribed to,

nor asked her to thrust upon me

and i knew she had not meant to be malicious

that she did not know

that i cut the perm viciously out of my hair screamed,

throwing red paint over a standard of beauty that i finally

refused to adjust myself to

so when I choked back my rage to a safer place behind my throat,

hidden away under my eyelids, i gathered my breath

and i told her

“It’d look like shit”



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