My hair makes me
I hate it
And I love it!
It is straight now
After my 13th birthday I mean
When my mother found the elixir to make it look “pretty”
I can’t reproach her or attempt to get mad at her
For introducing me to these chemicals
I see women with natural hair
And I envy them
But my hair
My hair is my other me
How it frames my face
How it makes me feel
I resent when the roots grow
Because I have to go back to the hair “hospital”
To the foul smells
And the burn
Sometimes I get 2nd and 3rd degree burns on my scalp
But oh, how much I adore that I have bangs
And the wind frolics with it
One day I’m going to shave it off
And after that I’m going to write a poem about hats.
*Poem selected by national competition for ARTE LATINO NOW EXHIBITION at Queens University. ARTE LATINO NOW seeks to highlight the exciting cultural and artistic contributions of Latinos in the United States. Sponsored by The Center for Latino Studies at Queens University of Charlotte in partnership with Visual artist Edwin Gil, Queens’ Departments of Art and Foreign Languages and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and ArtSí .
*Poster design by José G. Vázquez.