Cutting away

It’s been eight months.

Your hair is so pretty.

My hair keeps falling.

Long hair suits you.

Strands break when I run my fingers through

Please don’t cut your hair.

Autumn in my head.

There is a wedding in the family.

Was there a lot of hairfall? I ask the girl who washed my hair. ” There was. Still is.” she pauses, combing out my wet hair. I can feel strands breaking. Again.

So, how much shall we cut?

All the damaged parts.

But it’s grown so long!¬†

All the damaged parts.

It grows really quickly.

I know. It’ll be fine by the time the wedding comes around.

It’s quite heavy, your hair. Thick. Weighs it down.

I know, but I don’t want it thinned.

I don’t understand how N mixes math with intuition. We talk, and she continues to pull handfuls of hair, and snip. Over and over again. I don’t understand how my hair will end up looking symmetrical at the end, but I don’t need to, since I fundamentally¬†trust her.

By the time my hair has been dried into falling the right way, I’m already feeling better. This is what the right length feels like. Light. My hair feels surprisingly thicker, and stronger. It isn’t straggly or brittle anymore. I run my hands through it. Nothing breaks. I exhale.

Much better, I smile. It’s all good again.

I don’t look at the parts of my chopped up hair on the floor. For now, feeling an absence is a good thing. For now, I can run my hands through my hair without being afraid. For now, in leaving parts of me behind, it feels like something has been returned.

 

 

 

A 10.30 phone call on Wednesday/ Trees in the distance.

For H.

 

You call me up. I can already hear your heart breaking in the background. We know the sound of each other’s heart breaking. It is recognizable because it is familiar. Your voice is a thread. I hold on to it. We wait. You talk. I listen. The thread runs through my hands.

We do not know how we got here. Girls in childhood frocks who only wanted to play house, and never yell across the room. Women who’ve worn boots to battlefields, and walked back barefoot. We inhabit the world like kindred spirits, careful to be kind, and secret when we are fragile. It is a fragility we recognize the other carries. It is the phantom heart that sings to us when we close our eyes.

Our dreams have been simple as sugar. Love, arriving. Love, staying. Love, never leaving.

Our lives have been salt. Love, arriving. Love, hesitating. Love, leaving. Love, returning. Love, hesitating. Love, hurting. Love, leaving. Love- Perhaps we have loved the wrong way, left the door far too wide open, waited too hard on the doorstep, given love more middle names, more sweetness, more infinity than it ever deserved. Together, we try so hard to understand why some horizons are beyond our reach. I keep telling you there is nothing wrong with your hands, or your eyes. You tell me the same thing.

Salt and sugar. We wonder.

I wish I could buy you a pearl string of YESSES, to wear around your neck, for each maybe you’ve heard and had to swallow. I wish I could grow you a jasmine creeper that no hurricane would ever touch. I wish I could make you a mirror from everything you’ve shown me about who you are. I wish I could find a spell that would take us back to childhood, sugar and then forward to a horizon where we could spend the rest of our days planting trees that stand tall. Like promises. Like affirmations. Like they were born for sunshine, and strength and flowering. Like all the happy endings we are capable of building with our bare hands. Every single last one.