Midas’s Hairdresser

Rain overTwo drinks on the Redondo Beach boardwalk & I’m
talking big game. School days, stirring the egg white
Rain overin my drink until it foams up, dissolves. What’s past
is present, but I can’t say it. Fifteen years old. Crossed eyes,
Rain overbuckteeth, no talent for combing out knots. A fantasy
then: my classmates suspended in glass, camphored
Rain overso I could study them at my leisure. When forced to make
small talk, I drew on what I knew. Your father left
Rain overto drill oil in the Dakotas. Does he call you? Are you
failing math? Do you think that’s your own fault? I wanted
Rain overto know. I wanted you to fix yourself in front of me.
I bled first at ten. I was scintillating despite my persistent lack
Rain overof skill, interest. Men were then the vehicle
bearing me to the little room inside my chest where I could
Rain overwatch them through a window. I liked the view.
The ones who stayed liked the silence, or something. The prying
Rain overopen. Stop crying, I say, holding the scalpel. Tell me everyone
you hate. I ask the man in the bar if he misses his lover. Didn’t she die
Rain overlast year? If we unbury the bodies together, we have to point out
the rot. In the story, you dig a hole in the dirt and you whisper
Rain overyour secret there. What grows from that? A tooth,
a tower, a hive full of honey. A house that’s sutured shut. Everyone loves
Rain oversomebody else. Those who love me are wrong.

Brittany Cavallaro is the author of the poetry collections Girl-King and Unhistorical, both from the University of Akron Press. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in American Poetry Review, AGNI, and elsewhere. She lives in Michigan, where she teaches at the Interlochen Arts Academy.