The Hair Eaters


A single strand is never enough she said
over the head
of the fallen soldier whose heels and palms pressed forward toward insurgency.

The thicker the blacker the better she said
with a mouth full of thick black hair swallowed whole without stopping to chew
or gain breath.

Hunger that breeds upon hunger she said
ripping free a fat clump at the nape of the neck where cowlicks fought out
their bitterest ends.

This happened in Viet Nam she said
while shifting the head into my lap with stern remonstration not to waste
opportunity and time.

Where is the consequence she said
and I said in us
not to mention the sons neither born nor yet murdered close in the gathering sands.

She did not say this
war is no more than a frizzy meal of fuzzy hair or please stop me from choking or
pass me that glass of cold milk.

So I reached out
across the desert night to her
so fair and fine and easy as milk to curl around my finger.

I reached across the desert night
to find her
so easy to curl around my finger and pull back taut for my waiting mouth.  
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