A study of my mom and my hair.

I. my mom bought me a dress

polka dot top with striped skirt and suspenders

i cut my own hair to match my care bear

dad said girls have long hair

i still feel the brush ripping my scalp

i hate those knots

II. my mom bought me a purple plaid skirt

bondage pants, mesh sleeves

i begged

good student

she bought my black hair dye

took me to get my first short cut

my dad said girls have long hair

i still smirk at how frizzy it got

III. my mom told me to wait until after my graduation party

to cut off all my hair

long ringlets for the pictures

my smirk painted crimson, period blood red

in the next photos i have shaved sides

eyes surrounded by black rings

i am not smirking, real smile

i cut the rest off myself after a gay white man with scissors told me too short wouldn’t be cute

it’s not my job to be a cute haircut

my dad didn’t notice for three days

told me girls have long hair

i went to college and came out genderqueer

IV. my mom has had a bob since i was a small child

did my dad tell her girls have long hair?

V. when i used to cry a lot, getting my hair brushed

my mom would sigh and whisper,

“don’t tell your dad”

before she would cut out the knots

sparing me all the unnecessary pain

i love my mother

VI. my mother still hates my short hair

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