I have so long wanted it short, a floaty dark halo à la Juliette
Binoche. Every year I declare, it will go, I will take back my
identity and it can sulk in a plait on its way to a wig for a kid
with cancer. You’re on limited time, hair, I growl daily, as I
imagine twirling halo-haired along a wall in dusky Avignon,
like Amy Ray on the cover of that Indigo Girls album where
she’s striding along a pipe, arms outstretched, almost airborne.
As I soap my hands a tendril crawls, curls around my arm like
a tentacle and I am struck again by how long it is, how I have
grown it like a person, like my wisdom teeth I cannot bear to
extract despite the misery they give me. It is russet in the light.
Don’t, it begs me. Don’t send me away to make a wig. Let me
stay with you. It dances over my skin like a moth, like it wants
to leave a trace, a shadow, so even in France I can never flee it.
Elizabeth Gibson is a Masters student at the University of Manchester and a Digital Reporter for Manchester Literature Festival. Her work has been accepted by The Cadaverine, London Journal of Fiction, Far Off Places, Severine, and Ink, Sweat and Tears in the UK and Firefly, Sea Foam, Gone Lawn, Sincerely, and Siblíní in the US. She spent a year teaching English in France, which inspires much of her work. She tweets at @Grizonne, Facebooks at facebook.com/ElizabethGibsonWriterPoet and blogs at elizabethgibsonwriter.blogspot.co.uk.