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Barbara Ann O'Leary

Location: Morgantown, IN
Pushlished In: Conspire, KotaPress Poetry Journal, Aesau


cut it off, all off. i say cut it off
short - very
very short.
short enough

to bristle against the palm of my hand,
to remind me i go against the grain.
skin breathes better this way.

take it down tight against the skull.
flesh exposed, stripped,
sleek, vibrant, cool to the touch.

hair follicles feed toxins.
anger --
anger sprouts
from the roots of my head.

lop it off. watch it fall.

i grieve in stages. grief captured, captured.
grief scattered, sliding over waterfalls,
stirred up.

memories haunt
but cannot follow over water.
i flee across the water. safe.
ghosts canít follow over water.

i fall back in place,
starting again -- without.