for maybe two hours last night. eyes across the room until we speak hug brush fingertips against bare thigh, sip drinks with eyes meeting looking up over the rim of the glass. fall in love with your eyes your beard your scars your smile that accent. sweet boy. dark boy so beautiful, a new man with muscles and height, strength and tenderness wrapped around eager needing hunger…. when your shirt is gone so is my self control. give myself over to you and you give me your all. sweet boy. too sweet to love for maybe two hours only. but if that’s what it is, let it be.
“It’s Okay to be Neither,” By Melissa Bollow Tempel
Alie arrived at our 1st-grade classroom wearing a sweatshirt with a hood. I asked her to take off her hood, and she refused. I thought she was just being difficult and ignored it. After breakfast we got in line for art, and I noticed that she still had not removed her hood. When we arrived at the art room, I said: “Allie, I’m not playing. It’s time for art. The rule is no hoods or hats in school.”
She looked up with tears in her eyes and I realized there was something wrong. Her classmates went into the art room and we moved to the art storage area so her classmates wouldn’t hear our conversation. I softened my tone and asked her if she’d like to tell me what was wrong.
“My ponytail,” she cried.
“Can I see?” I asked.
She nodded and pulled down her hood. Allie’s braids had come undone overnight and there hadn’t been time to redo them in the morning, so they had to be put back in a ponytail. It was high up on the back of her head like those of many girls in our class, but I could see that to Allie it just felt wrong. With Allie’s permission, I took the elastic out and re-braided her hair so it could hang down.
“How’s that?” I asked.
She smiled. “Good,” she said and skipped off to join her friends in art.
she woke with the sun, leaves plastered to her face by the sweat of her sleep. she peeled them off her and combed twigs and detrious from her dark curly hair. her hair was her favorite feature. And it was her shining glory, most of the time, she wore it clean and long and redolent with the scent of lavendar. her hair was her protest song, it was her banner to march under, it was her rejection of the ideals of her upbringing.