“She touched my hair with fingers fluent in love.”
She cuts my hair one morning in her apartment in Brooklyn and I fall a little in love. It is the year when all the punks and queers and weirdos seem to get the same haircut where one side is longer than the other. Slanted hair in a straight world. My haircutter is a trans woman with auburn ringlets, Dorothy Allison books on her shelf, frilly dresses and stained aprons tumbling from her closet. When she puts her hands on my head and rummages through my curls, it’s as if her hands are planting something there in the thicket.
I forgive you
There is no hair left on my head that the woman in Brooklyn touched, and yet I can’t stop thinking of her. I wish I had called her for another haircut, that my hair could have produced enough of what she needed to stay; or that we could have switched places and I could have set aside her scissors and put my hands on her head for as long as it took.
Instead of going to a salon, I call a new friend and sit in her backyard one morning on a tall stool under a mesquite tree with limbs that bend and bow. I tell my friend that I had cancer, and then I watch my hair fall like confetti from my face onto the ground. Later I will sweep it up with the dust and mesquite leaves and the rest of the long day, but for now I sit up on the stool, my body still heavy on the earth.
Harmony Hazard hails from Tucson and New York. She is an MFA candidate in Stony Brook Southampton's Creative Writing and Literature program. She writes the "Participate" column for make/shift magazine and has been published in CALYX, Border Crossing, and Tiny Donkey.