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by Hannah Nguyen

The daughter's hair
hung like a sheet
of cornsilk, blue black
deep as calligraphy ink,
bold whips of characters
swooning on canvas, as her locks did
against her back, from the sweeping
motion of the brush, and with
scissors swift as a sword,
she cut it,
a dark alphabet falling to the floor,
a new blankness, a language
her mother can't understand, who wept
over years of grace and grooming, a land
of wild orchids under a tame moon, a memory
of a myth that said
eating ten bananas a day
while with child
would produce a princess mane,
but the daughter was pleased
with the piles lying on the bathroom linoleum
like little islands in exile,
broken off from a mother country.


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