I Am My Hair

I was told that without the mane I carried
I wasn’t a lion anymore
Just a sheep.


First of all, correction: I’d be a lioness.
And there’s no mane necessary.


Leader of the group,
Bringer of all the pride
Is the lion, 
How cute.


Leader of the hunt 
Stalker of her prey 
Who comes back home with the beard of blood? 
Who “brings home the bacon”?
After hours and precision
After securing a target
And locking on,
Just like how I 
will secure my sense of self
And dig my claws into the back 
of a demon labeled “insecurities”
and wait until he bleeds out his toxins,
Just like the lioness who waits for the zebra’s 
last heartbeat
And drags her trophy back to her cubs for food 
And turns to the lion, the ever so mighty lion 
as if she says 
“Oh. Here.”
and gets the rest
she’s actually worked (and killed) for.


I overheard that the reason I cut my hair was 
“She just got out of a breakup.”


I will clarify for all of you 
That wonder (which is normal)
That assume (which I hate)
The reason for this had nothing to do with any man.
With an army of men. 
Or the small shadow and shell of men
who get to bask in the glory 
of being “the reason why” 
Any girl or woman 
went through a change.


I overheard that because I cut my hair,
I’m a lesbian.


And I will clarify this for you 
Women are gorgeous beings
But even if I was 
attracted to them in such ways
I would steer clear
From any female
Full of judgemental ugliness
the way that you are.


My hair
is not me.
It doesn’t define my interests
It’s length or texture or color
won’t dictate my decisions.
I do that.


I cut my hair because 
I’m selfish. 
I’m selfish, I’m selfish 
I am selfish! 
The crowds and masses
The men and women 
Need reasoning
They need to point
their finger at something
Point it right here.
Because for once
My influences aren’t about you
It’s all about me.


I modify for myself
My interests and curiosities 
My reasoning? 
My hair is not me. 
I am my hair. 
I am as pin straight 
and layered
I am as curled and free
As the follicles sprouting 
from my scalp
That collect every day of sunshine
And every refreshing breeze
Just as I take in every experience I can 
like a sponge 
Never using all of my knowledge
But having a safe full 
of artifacts
that may come in handy one day.


I might grow it down
to my lower back 
one day.


I might dye it 
and keep it at 
my shoulders 
one day.


I might leave it
tangled by hands
who admire it
lovers who play with it
and forget all about combs.


And the only difference
that it makes
is on the outside 
For I know 
what the truth is
on the inside.
Because on the inside 
there are no stereotypes
Or judgements
Or misogyny 
There isn’t any binding force
Or oppression
The “girls do this because”
or “she looks like that because”
on the inside 
I’m left uncaged!


I get a hold of myself
The way that I personally please.
And once I fully grasp that inner truth
I can look into the mirror
At a crowd, into someone’s eyes
and confidently and easily say, 
“I am as free as my hair.”


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