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NaPoWriMo'23 Day Eight: Haircut and Hair Coloring as a reset button

by Cristina Martinez

A Pixie Cut by Abshaar Saeed

I sit in a radiant chamber with tube lights, many other lights

some dull and some ephemeral

like the different sets of troubles and triumphs

my heart skipped a beat

at every snip of stainless steel scissors

Stainless. Is there such a thing?

slivered hair descent like wilted petals

and auburn leaves

resting a while on my shoulders, procrastinating

Perhaps I can convince them

to stay a bit longer

Until the next date or my neighbour's wedding

So I will be saved from looking ridiculous

if the pixie cut doesn't work

like magic.

But the scissors, relentless as they should be

Impatient as they should be, return to their work

My hair accepted its fate and quietly slipped away.

Making way for an unpopular experiment.

The remaining hair, messy and exasperated

from the uncertainty of fate,

but the dispute is not yet over

They will now be clothed

in pungent bottles of ammonia

and ribbons of aluminium

An armour enough against the ever-changing world.

Outside, autumn has already begun;

Inside, a brunette metamorphosed into an Auburn

While the dye deepens, past stances shrink away

the foil unfurls; the first flag of the independence

of a newly declared sovereignty

The wings grow from my back

while the water rinses excess pigment,

obligations glow into feathers.

At last, I stand, like an incarnation of autumn

swirling a wand and twirling with the wind

I am remade into an enchanted pixie.

I hold my truth on my scalp by Antara Vashistha

Literature of

the post-modern, post-colonial world

is a lot about reclaiming

and rewriting,

and revisiting the history

to discern if things happened the way they do.

Once I fell in love

with a lawyer

who taught me to

keep my truth close,

and my evidence closer,

when our ways parted

my hands felt a little too heavy,

carrying reality, emails, and screenshots,

corroborating the time we spent together,

bound by the baggage,

I did not even realize

when love fell out of me

like an old crumpled paper,

lint of memories,

All I remembered was to keep my truth,

and rewrite our story as my will.

Over the years,

I have had a lot of time to grow and glow,

At seven, I was the curly-haired maniac

nicknamed Maggi and Noodles of all forms,

I grew to be a witch from Azkaban,

hiding in bathroom stalls

and burning my hair through

cheap iron and fancy oils.

It was six and a half years ago,

that I finally forgave myself

for something I had no control over,

turning off my ears to the

Like of hairdressers

complaining curls are too much

a nuisance to

be loved properly.

I remember I took it personally

when the red of my

curls turned brown,

and the blue never showed up,

I burnt my neck

with bleach bought from my third salary,

giving a chance to


I still remember the

Pink that shone,

then purple,

and Orange,

Even red.

I was the rainbow

who reclaimed her hair,

Today, I hold my truth

on my scalp,

smelling of coconut oil

and over-priced conditioners,

flipping both hair and fingers

to those who


they have




is quite simple

isn't it,


would rather not



The metaphysical reset button by Mohua Chakraborty

It's easy to grow into a face

that wants to nod in shame

so strong in my memory

this girl so weak

forgets to wash the dishes

spits latex pools in disobedience

the ocean bed lacks pigments

and sulphur sings to the leftover

utopian hands smell of vinyl graves

but do they accept malfunctions?

now that the hair locks

swing like apologies

separated at extremes

from middle partition

still slanting the

boundaries of East Bengal

hopeful of a common

currency choir

who knew the resting potential

of one's mirth would dissolve

within the colour of other's sins

Meanwhile silicone

doused off in

shimmery distress

And botox lingers

like half lit cigarette

Appearance flirts in

mortal undertone

just when gray stories

decompose over the skull

hungry of childhood

blooming into a headache

the fumes of which

smothers rusted fingernails

and the water content is

as reasonable as a stranger

birthing in little bubbles

and dying of extra foam

Not that it's easier to

develop a brain

in sweet dreams

afterall the more

bitter the false

the more integrate

burns gift the media coverage

trembling in matte finish

which plagued Rapunzel

with a bad acne

and she switched

those mouths with

a haircut dipping

brunette into browns

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