The young man pulls the strands
of hair from the shower drain,

lays them out straight & orderly,
like a pack of cigarettes.

He counts the bodies,
lights ten candles

in the tiny, rock grotto
he built inside

the medicine cabinet, prays
to Rogaine, then closes it.

The hairs (because he has to prove
he doesn’t care) get flushed

down the toilet,
like a child’s goldfish.

He walks to work,
but on the way

gazes up at the cloud’s
curved surfaces,

smooth & immaculate,
a confidence

in how they seem to nod
in his direction.

Grant Chemidlin is a queer writer and poet living in Los Angeles. He is the author of two collections of poetry, He Felt Unwell (So He Wrote This) and Things We Lost In The Swamp. He’s been a finalist for the Gival Press Oscar Wilde Award, the Philip Levine Prize for Poetry, and is currently pursuing an MFA at Antioch University Los Angeles. You can find more of his work on Instagram: @grantcpoetry.

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