This is not Alopecia. This is grief. Lips pursed so only a little pray squeaks through because faith has left you. This is balding head, pale from months hidden behind a cleverly placed center part. This is Mr. Curtis blowing the reefer smoke from his mouth to your mouth, your mom doing a bump in the kitchen, while your baby brother lies curled at your feet, dreaming. This is lips pressed tight so only a little cry leaks through because… Keep Reading
This is 45. Four and one half decades black woman flesh, unburdened by cloth or silence — no currency for safe passage. This is a something plucked bare. Love song strung ’round bone, ground between teeth, held tight in the hand ’til the fingers cramp and bleed. This is danger. Woolly hair and sagged breasts with the will to trespass. This is where we enter. When we square up. What do you owe? Pay what you owe.