My hair is thick, red, curly, waves course through the coils.
With braids and buns,
Burning it on flatirons,
I tried to tame my tresses into something softer.
But this is my hair.
A mane as volatile as the girl underneath.
My hair has always been my tell,
even with my mouth shut.
I am infrared,
Something that cannot even be kept in a cage of my own making.
There are days I wish I were less seen.
I waste wishes on invisibility the way smokers do on cigarettes–
Knowing it’s a useless and deadly habit in the end.
“Do you straighten your hair much?”
“How often do you burn yourself into what they want you to be?”
“You’re so pretty, but you’d be prettier if only you were less you. More generic.”
“Have you ever tried highlights?” Why? to bleach the parts of me too bold for you? So I stand out less in the sunshine?
People like me– the different and untamable– we were made for the sunshine.
My hair is the riotous softness I can’t celebrate about myself.
My hair is the recessive gene that refuses to do anything other than dominate.
It devours hair-ties and all the guilt I feel for being all that I am.
It is the un-sorchable fire,