In her own words...



If she was your source,
you were her black river
of tresses. Sliding between
her fingers, you gave
yourself to their touch
as you held her in thrall.
Lovers, nothing could
come between you
until her little habit
crept close and its
wildly growing need
tore her mind away
from all she'd known.
Stroking your dark coil
the dealer saw how,
before its deadly rival,
there simply was no
choice. Scissored and
sold into a prostitution
not even of genitalia,
you faced the world alone
like any cast-off lover.
The first, an ancient princess
of some forgotten country.
Posed with you, her renned
crown later divided, dyed and
bleached. Your twists and turns
always set to glorify some
earthly "star" or other
before the glitter fades,
leaving only dejection
under your brittle strands,
each time at evening's end.
Tonight a bargain remnant
of your once beloved mass
haunts the hotel lobby
with its glassy revolving
doors bringing them in,
letting them out as you
have been carried in,
now to be invited out
to the end of things.


About this work

“Tresses” was first published in Southwest Review, Vol. 96, no. 2 (2011), pp. 203-204.  It is also included in Dorothea Tanning's book, Coming to That: Poems, New York: Graywolf Press, 2011, pp. 39-40, and may not be reprinted without the publisher's permission.