the creamy lye

                                 The Creamy Lye

                                                                   Don’t slap

                                                                      My head

With that

 White lye

 

                                         I know the truth:

                                         It’s creamy crack

                                       (my private addiction,

                                           a six-week fix)

                                     straightening my roots

                                         with the cool press

                                        of sodium hydroxide

 

            It’s a relaxer

            leaving me

               tense, my head

              on fire

 

                                            melting, melting

                                 under chemical burns, plastering

                                      my scalp with scabs

                                      (my private track marks,

                                          a six-week fix)

                                        shedding and oozing.

 

                 Don’t slap

                   My head

                  With that

                      White lye.

                     Sharon Harvey Rosenberg

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