By Brittney Corrigan
Wait Mister. Which way is home?
They turned the light out
and the dark is moving in the corner.
– Anne Sexton, “Music Swims Back to Me”
Let down your hair they say to me,those two who crawl about below me. Let down your hair. They mean out the window,
but what is a window up here but a suicide door, a black hole,
anunmended pocket? It is a kind of mystery how I got here to begin with:
I am thechicken, the egg, the single cell. No one will ever say to me Pussy cat, where have you been?
I visitthe queen of this small round space. I frighten the mouse of
myself, chasing myown split ends. I am the crooked cat. I am the last of
the Furies, the Bansheeof the Attic. They call to me, Let down your hair.
And so I do. But not to them. Oh no, not out that window. Theyhowl at
me like dogs, hissing in their own poor skins for love of me. But I
donot need a mother now the darkness rocks me to sleep. I do not need a
lover now the stones wrap me in their arms. Letdown your hair. So
I do, and I run about shrieking in my own cylindricalspace. My hair
knows every possibility. It is a noose, a rope, a blanket, aladder, a
nest. I let it choose. It crawls about the space like a school offish;
it is as soft as the wind. I do not need a mother now my body has
takenme in. I do not need a lover now my fingers make windows of my
self. My hair islike a key, a hand, an infinite expanding space. I do
not need a mother now Ilook through the keyholes of my own eyes. I do
not need a lover now my handsexpand into universes of skin. Today they
call Let down your hair, and I do. It chooses the pocket with
thebottomless hole, and today I choose to follow it through the door.
Hush. I amnot mad. Listen. I am a cat. I bathe myself with my own
tongue. I always landon my feet.