The Declassified Files of the Sorority of Chemically Straightened Heads

The following is to be read carefully, then burned by curling iron.



By the time you are seven
you will believe
that you are ugly because
your hair is bad.


This begins the initiation;
you will know.



Soon after, you will be plucked;
stolen from a random Saturday,
carted to a nearby salon.


And there will be
mirrors, stools, and tools
scissors with curls still attached
irons peeking from miniature stoves
mud colored gels, lucid creams
toothless combs, sticky sprays
helmets of heat, bubble-filled basins
plastic rods, greasy clips
and brushes with more hair on them
than heads



The foul smelling cream is God.
You will fear it,
bow to its’ magic and lye
become enslaved to its’ ability
to press your strands into submission
make stubborn spirals flat
after minutes of menacing.



Surrounding you are the grim lipped gossips,
the women who share the blister sick knowing
that the more sizzle, pop, and pain
the longer lasting the style



Black hair is Ritual.
A hazing that hurts. Sorority.
An induction into a sisterhood
where follicles are
pressure cooked
to maintain the status quo.



Perhaps we should
blame the women
who raised us.
The lipsticked sadists who stuff
our self-esteem in corsets; shape
our worth with brow pencil;
teach us we are
only our hair.


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