like jump rope-strangle
my long hair haunts me.
i used to be an outdoor animal 
with ribbon teeth & loose waist.
when wrapped around myself five times,
i was a piano maker's daughter
with enough string to re-wire 
the planets in the mobile. 
in a foxhole,
she sleeps with her tail twisted
into a fisherman's knot. i coax her out 
with a handful of barrets. 
takes them gentle. lip & lip
& tongue. over & under.
laying down on the roof, 
gritty shingles against my back,
my hair would touch lawn below
& stray cats climbed my mane up
to perch with me by the chimney.
listen for smoke. swat at biplanes. 
chew purple bubble gum & complain 
about our scalps. the merri-go-round 
waited for a signal to spin shyly.
go go go. clouds on a dinner plate.
i carry her carcass 
to the nearest river.
clog a drain with my thoughts 
& half-drown before i notice 
i've flooded the whole scene.
in the old house, water would leak 
from tub to living room. evidence
the whole structure was fake. trust nothing
but hair. trust nothing but
what's attached at the root. 
a single strand coiled round my finger.
don't forget don't forget. 
my hair whispers 
as if length is something 
perishable. i'm growing back
like a field in april. skunk cabbage 
& swamp stung. keep the apples bobbing
& the swings tangled up 
with the telephone wires. 

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