Can We Touch Your Hair?

at the parades, everyone
wants to touch my hair.

on the corner
of st charles and marengo,

i am cold & smashed & puffy AF
when two white women
try to convince me
that they love my hair

no they really really do
they say because it is so
black and thick and curly
and soaking up all of the
water in the damp air.

the mousy one says
through an alabama drawl:
gawd, you can do so much with it

and her blonde friend says:
ya can’t do a damn thing with mine,
won’t even hold a curl.

she runs away to grab another friend
and says to her: stacey, isn’t it even
prettier than macy gray’s?
we just love her,
don’t we?

they circle me and ask:
can we touch your hair?

and then, suddenly,
just like my ancestors long ago,
i am pulled apart


by pale hands
from all directions.

Last updated November 21, 2022