March 5, 2018

“i’ve never seen snow” she tells me
i tell her “it’s like dandruff falling from an overused brush, tossed aside”
she says “that’s very poetic” and laughs
it sounds like a crow,
maybe a murder of them…
did you know they eat rotten flesh, like a vulture?
during the winter they repose,
go into torpor, where they lie on the ground, their bills half open
looking to all the world as if they are
about to succumb to some abysmal malady


i look up at the asbestos ceiling tiles of my eighth grade classroom
pencil shavings litter my desk
like wind spinners hanging above a shaded porch
the teacher is rambling on about world war one
did you know over seventeen million people died then,
bestowing it with the honour of being one of the deadliest conflicts in human history? those bodies, imbued with bullet holes, languor-like…
do you think there were crows there?


even though the air vents groan
as they push out the recycled, dull air
the heat still penetrates the room, a harbinger of the tropical punch
that awaits me and my
prepubescent sweaty thirteen-year-old armpits.
just in case you were wondering:
i didn’t know hair was supposed to grow there,
i thought all women were hairless
like mole rats or sphinx cats
or like that bald patch pets develop when they get spayed


i itch at the base of my scalp
with my chipped pink glitter nail polish
i think the colour was called china doll, or something dumb like that
bitten to the quick
quickly, i rake out two, maybe three, a group really,
of dead skin that fall from my blonde hair
silently like the morning of christmas day
dusting my grey middle school desk
with tiny specs of white white snow

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© 2023 by MCLA Spires.