The day is over. Again.
It’s been three days
since I showered last, or shaved, or did anything
with my hair, or cared to look long
in the mirror at the thing
someone else named.
I lie on the bed, crooked
against pillows piled along the wall and brew
my potions in the brain. Memory spells
that rewind me back a few hours,
book to the break room at work
and the woman with blood orange hair
who says my hair is especially pretty
and I say with such hair as hers
she must never get cold.
Or further back eating lunch on the grass
with short, face-lift Michelle,
and Heidi who reads Blake and Coleridge.
They say Ellee this and Ellee that
because that’s my name
no matter what I believe. And the sun
is warm for March. Light bounces
everywhere and I squint
and blink and look for shade.
I go back another day, another week
two weeks and find Blayke’s fingers sliding up
between my shoulder blades
into the cool sea of my hair
her tongue around my tongue
rough cheek against my neck.
When I go to her tomorrow, I will go
the way I am now
with hair that sticks in clumps
legs like carpenter files,
and I will be like a coat
that drapes across her shoulders
and also the rain that seeps
through to the skin. And she will know.
I won’t need to ask
why it still hurts, or when,
or if it will stop.