the ability to self-regulate

my chief concern today
is the piece of hair, errant,
from my bun.
almost forgotten like my discontent
it’s quiet
and not that big of a deal until it’s some kind of big deal
and brushing against my face.

those strands now stuck
in the mud I use to blur
the worry around my eyes
that I use to tone down the rawness
of my ivory state.

an admission:
gnawing at the corner of my mouth
strands like parables sliding
between my lips, the kind my mother
assured me women pay a lot of money for.

I push at the problem with my tongue,
hurried, like other moments involving my tongue
I try to keep my composure. seized within the squall
of any innocuous night I demand my hair return
to its place, its place which is order
and order is the belief
that things do not
fall apart.

I set my jaw,
my heart-shaped mandible, the horizon line between the shores
of my past and present fixed on pursuing this neurosis for
she’s pretty in a Kerouac way,
            swirling in the upness of the heat,
            blowing from the wall by my feet,
            standing in this room that is my life,
            swatting at the defiance of my soul.

Lauren Ebright is an emerging writer living and forgetting to breathe deeply in the Pacific Northwest. Her work can also be found online at Dime Show Review.

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