Abandonment//Three Ways

  1. Oxford Street, Half Past 10

I was spitting in the sink, watching the

mucus crawl towards the drain-- a slow,

ugly thing. The hair on my head was

half mine, half stranger’s, all braided and

twisted into a clump of soft blackness

at the nape of my neck. Outside the

window a woman screamed;

I remained in place.

II.         Dorm, After Midnight

The hair on my head is now fully mine.

The curls slink down the drain when

the water hits my scalp, and in those

moments when I am naked and blind,

soaping my hair in temporary whiteness,

trying to understand the curvatures and

contours of the hair I was given at birth.

III.  The Wilderness, Sometime Before the Kids Woke Up

He slides a pillow beneath my head before

angling my hips towards the wall. I was seduced

by his stories of tragedy; men spin their traumas

into lullabies when it suits them---

my resolve dissolved before my eyes. Half naked

under a blanket that did not belong to me, my heartbeat

stuttered as I felt him against me.

I speak of this encounter---

It has stopped feeling miraculous.

Grace Morse