Reflections in a Pool of Hair

You have been standing in a pool of your own hair.
You rub the hair into dirt and pick out crows 
       you’d like to lift it away.

You take off your socks.
Hand to eyes to block the sun, you look
       for someone who looks like you.

You see men in retro glasses, you see men behind 
       retrofitted glass and men
on black bikes and women with small
piercings in their sharp noses and you see their bad silver 
       nail polish, you’ve got
bad silver nail polish

and everyone wheezes. You wheeze
and the small gay men at the bar spend sunset
tuning American Idol onto two screens.

       They talk like bar glass. In their gravel, they vote singers.

There is a tingle at the back of your throat that holds 
       the phone on hold and thinks the words
Obama wants to be a palindrome.
You catch yourself in a plate glass window, you catch yourself
      in the neighbor’s glass plate, you catch yourself

wondering if you look like your hair
in their windows. They put away things

as soon as you ask about them.

From Here is the Sweet Hand (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2020). Copyright © 2020 by Francine J. Harris. Reprinted with the permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux.