Everyone Wishes my Eva Gabor Wig Was My Real Hair
I bought it at a yardsale. Deadstock in its pink box
for a dollar. The white strands stiffen
into peaks like meringue. If I am feeling tired, the wig looks grey.
If I wear makeup, it looks platinum blond. It swings between glamorous
Who knew 1974 would be so itchy.
When I removed it,
I thought it broke my roots. My scalp: a trampled
brown flower garden.
As a teenager, I sheared my waist-length hair with clippers.
A boy at school said,
"Nathan is going to be mad you cut your hair."
I didn't even know anyone named Nathan.
A wig shop owner thought my mom's real hair was a wig.
My mom wears a bob. This is confusing
because my father's name is also Bob. My mom dries her her bob upside down,
but when she stands, each thin strand falls
like they all received shocking news, and fainted together.
I own the same tress genetics: women with strategically placed
filaments. I learned
at a young age that hair is made of 110,000 individual strands
Me and Your Shadow
This glum gray plume rising from my shoes
is not mine. The head doesn't bob
while I walk. It slides
across the sidewalk like a ghost, bends
in the wrong places. I lug a slow leash. It is spiteful
and refuses to make shadow puppets.
It condenses shorter, even in long light.
The body changes with the hour.
It climbs stairs like Nosferatu. It darkens
This gray man reminds me of when you used to follow me.
When I turned out the lights I thought he disappeared,
but I heard lurking.
Where is my gray girl? Did you keep her for yourself?
I want my shadow back.
A gentleman caller that won't stop calling. A girl
doesn't require every type of red rose. I keep bleaching
away the red on my handkerchief.
I've been smelling masonry, I dreamt
about working in a coal mine.
My cook is sloppy with flour.
Corsets are useful--they support ribs
that crack from overuse. I no longer need make up
to pale my skin.
My parlor abundant
with psychogenic hacks and gasps to sympathize
with mine. Men know to kiss
the top of my hand. Never the inside.
They inquire if Spes phthisica is a myth.
Rene Laennec invented the stethoscope to win
my affections, Wilhelm Roentgen invented an X-ray .
My medicine cabinet receives too many gifts. I yawn
Valerie Loveland is the author of Reanimated, Somehow. Her poetry was featured at the Massachusetts Poetry Festival, and in the anthology Best of the Web 2008. She enjoys listening to audio poetry, running, and going to museums. She works as an optician apprentice and lives in Acton, MA.
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