My Hair


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.