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"Locks of Hair"

October 25, 2006

“Locks of Hair”

I will cut your hair.
But I will not wind it
around my wrist, nor shut
it up in my great-grandmother’s locket.
(It is a gleaming, ticking heart,
longer-lived than her pulsing one.)
I am too afraid of you,
making me your captive, Love.
(With that,
your leaving
would make my life endure longer
than I would have it.)

I sleep.
I cry out, and claw.
His russet locks snake,
waving, crashing, imbibing me. Now,
his hairs choke my mouth,
in the way that he claimed mine
clotted his breath, when he
lay in our bed,
behind me.

Through closed eyes, tears still
swell to wrinkle my brow, and drop
from among my painted lashes.
Are you asking? He possesses my dreams;
though, in waking, I am with you.
He visits me, always, as a crier of cruelest
prophecy: that I will not love you.
And I wake to the smothering, traitorous weight
of having seen his face, but
having drowned amongst your tresses.

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