Patagonian Mane

Alone in a city of a different tongue, I run another woman’s conditioner through my hair.

Less hair, really, than a tangled web, trapping remnants of riverbeds and the wafting curls of wood fire smoke.

Dark and straight and stiff, stark against the snow as evergreen needles.

Warming to mimic the blinding, bleaching brightness of the sun as it stays out late and into the longest hours of the day.

Growing ever closer in kin to the coarse, flaxen, sun-baked bales of hay that pile up as the warm months reach their breaking point and begin to wane.

Imitating the gentle rise and fall of the relentless wave upon the shore. Sandy remnants of its dance waiting to be rinsed from its untamed weft.

Thickening to the switch of a horse’s mane as it crosses pastures and streams. Growing ever coarser, ever wiser with each gallop.

All of Samson’s strength in its every strand.

Every midday sun ray’s reflection.

Its ebb and flow a siren’s song, calling unsuspecting sailors deeper into its dark seas. Tightening its tangled, tentacled grip around those who unabashedly dive head first into its depths. Their strength and vigor turned soft at the ecstasy of surrender.

How many languages it has learned to speak. Speaking for me when I am silent.

Unafraid. Unkempt. And, despite my feeble conditioning attempts, it remains, always untamed.

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