She had plugged

The holes atop

Her head with hair

To keep the brains

From knowing there

Was more to life

Than dark and matted skull.

But if she’d once

Considered the cold

Bare fish tail strands

A-dangling exposed

To brushes, combs,

Hot water, wind,

Men’s clutch, she’d

Maybe not have shrieked

When all the hairs

Sunk down to sub-

Skull, crowded round

Her thoughts, coiled

Tight – for warmth –

And lit a fire; set in.

The smoke, an alabaster

Hue – burnt bone?

That smoggy ouster –

Shrouded baldened

Skin, and left

An airborne trail

Like bread crumbs

For the damned

Behind her head

Where all she went then on.

Rebecca White


Rebecca White is a journalist based in New York City. She is a frequent contributor to The New York Times. Her poetry is as of yet unpublished. Rebecca’s poems reflect both her personal experiences and the experiences of those who have shared their stories with her. Much of her work focuses on protest, pain, and power.



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