Written and Performed by Lee Schwartz
The smell of warm hair. Light and soft, but hanging in its strands are the remnants of your shampoo, and that bodily warmth.
It gently brushes and tickles your cheek. You remember her hand brushing your cheek, but she was heavy and feverish to the touch. She was air being exhaled into your mouth without warning. The shock of presence and warmth.
Your hands begin to ache from brushing your hair, from the rhythmic pull of the brush, from the rhythmic tap of her pulse under your fingertips.
Your hands ache for her, and she makes them shake without you controlling them, she makes them move without you meaning to move them.
You love to play with your hair, twirling it, letting it slide like silky ribbon around your fingers. You loved letting her fingers slide around yours.
Your hair is familiar-smelling, a comforting weight. You hate it sometimes—its snags and its splits—and sometimes you hate her.
You hate her for the way she made you feel without her meaning to, and the way she stays in your mind longer than she should.
But you could never truly hate your hair. It swishes with whispers of reassurance; sticks to your smile when the wind pitches it across your face. It warms your neck when you feel a chill,
Her hand used to do that too.
You bury your face in your hair and breathe in, breathe in its perfect dryness and silky softness.
It smells like you. Nothing is you like she was. Nothing is you like your hair is you.
Illustration: Lily Sutton