No one taught you how to cut your hair but on the seventeenth year of your lunglife, you grabbed rusty scissors from all those times your mother cut open packages of meat and cut away your knots. Your length. the girl from you.
You heard a scream and wondered if your follicles could feel. You stopped, briefly and listened to where the howls were coming from.
Scissors? Your fingers?
Your mother, just on the other side of the door, which had opened without your knowing.
Your mother, with frosted tips because that is what mothers did back then. They highlighted parts of their hair to make up for the parts of themselves they couldn’t.
Your mother, who grabbed scissors and gasped at the river of curls colliding on the floor of your bedroom, messy from an episode of rage several hours earlier.
Your mother, who bled out words of anger, spoke, “Why do you make yourself so ugly?”
You look in the mirror and then at her. To mirror, then her. See the genes of her genes in your face. Shared ears of protrusion. Shared spots on face called freckles. Shared mental illness.
You do not pause, before jumping into the pool of hair below you. You try out your swimming postures as you butterfly and breaststroke into the waves of girl against wood. You flap and spread your skinny arms, coating yourself in tangle.
You drown. Forgetting your inability to swim.
Your mother? She is too caught up in the state of your scalp to save you from the flood of your suffocation.