BellaOnline Literary Review



Zhaleh Sarduy

I watched the white hair
float down to my desk
and settle into a crooked smile
I held my breath
for fear of blowing it away
or rather
for fear of it blowing me away.
I wondered how long
I carried this small part of you
with me
and why
like you
it chose to leave me now.

I thought back
to my battles with your hair
the endless snowstorm
that left me winded
the sweeping, vacuuming,
dusting and brushing
picking, flicking, and shaking
a list of daily rituals
designed to remove
from me.

At that moment,
I wondered insanely
if I had enough
to put you back together again
for, if I had you back
I would see these maddening flakes
for what they truly were
precious evidence
of my loving dog
in his happy home.

I press my finger
to the smiling hair
on my desk
noting how
even in death
you worry for me
and I place the hair
back on my black cashmere sweater
right above my heart
where it belongs
and I start my day
without you.

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