Self-Portrait With Cropped Hair
Why do I call him my Diego? He never was nor ever will be mine. He belongs to himself.
I can smell her sex
even if you are in the doorway.
This house is heavy with onion
but she still clings to you.
Get out, muse. Leave me here
with the begonias on the porch.
Hands shaking, my voice
does not betray me.
I touch the stiff tips of my brushes
but there is no color for this.
I look at my hands on my thighs.
Looking to the doorway I find you gone.
I loosen the braid taming my hair.
I stand at the mirror. You loved
my hair, always smoothing it over,
burying your nose in the inky strands.
I take the heavy scissors out of the drawer.
There is no color for this.
It’s not easy to cut, this hair.
I let it collect in the sink,
a bird’s nest without a bird.
Sandra Riley is a community college writing instructor. She holds degrees from Ohio State University, Antioch University Midwest, and The University of Dayton. Her poetry has appeared in Autumn Sky Poetry, Poets Online, and Mock Turtle Zine.
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