M.D. Friedman Reads
Girl Braiding Hair
She combs her hair as if to untangle
the tussle of his touch, powders plum skin
still stinging from his grizzled tentacle,
over is over when the pain begins.
Elderberry lips are smeared red to hide
the ache, and the baby that was to be,
a hated thing, no longer lives inside,
over is over, at last she writhes free.
Emerging from tide pools, how her eyes swell,
gleam blue, brim briny with bright tears of no;
her anguish, a warped lens, a fractured shell,
over is over wherever she goes.
Easy enough to layer a right hand
full of hair limp on the wild red rope held
snug by left, hand upon hand upon hand,
over is over, when love’s flame is quelled.
Not so simple now to grab another fist
full of life, or to be braided again,
when what blooms and wrenches within is missed,
over is over when twisted hurt ends.