I watch her back as she tames her hair
in front of my bathroom mirror with a brush
that could bristle skin.
Her hair is so different; she gave up chemical
Relaxers last spring and it didn’t grow out to share
My silk Creole genes, but it shrinks and kinks before her shoulders—
Reminding me of how, as a teen, I would grab Brillo
Pads at the kitchen sink and grimace to think
Of those unlucky classmates with nappy hair.
In the finishing touches
of a high ponytail, she pulls at the sheep fur
that escapes a rubber band.
Bad, bad hair…
“You should really fix that,” I attempt.
She blinks. “What is there to fix?”
Speechless. I can’t handle this,
this audacity to be black.
*Note: While dealing with my own self acceptance regarding my natural hair