RWB Workshop Poem of the Week—October 2

Mary Ma

My Hair Is Long Again

Two lanes to my right,
the driver of a Nissan
rolls down their window
and flips off the car behind them,
flips off the entirety of Route 17 North.

I haven’t been alive in 6 days.

Have you ever had flashbacks?

Not memories, those are
wispy small things.
Even the strong ones aren’t sentient. They’re so willful.
They reek of choice.
They can have color, sure, but never touch.

No, touch belongs to the flashbacks.
Rug burn over and over again.
The carpet was white and clean with large loops,
I played with the loose ones,
if anything is real.

My hair is long again and I’m pulling it back because you always have to clean up after.

I can’t sleep any more or see anymore or breathe any more.
It’s so hard to stay put,
but a middle finger on
a highway
grounds me.


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