I'm Balding

By: Kechi Mbah

My reflection swallows round my eyes like twisted hair beads and pink oil
while the mirror leaks a frightening truth
that I go mad to.
I hold the wishing in my fingers
drenched in castor, tea tree, and peppermint
my scalp only blooms red
                                         and empty
so this time I pray in gel and satin
and slicked down illusions
that break to the slip of pale brown patches across my head.
The tears seize to swivel outside me
as vanity clenches to the quiver of my chin
and I grow nought and powerless to the motions.
Instead I seek beginnings in empty jars and old photos
“It must have been the tightness of those braids,
or the flaking in that foam”
sticking blame to each fleshy piece on my forehead.
They say I look alot like my Mother,
but in this way I’m akin to my Dad.
So I’ll watch the dragged onslaught of this future
while my body grows beside it
and soft
and candied.
For there are many ways
to walk into womanhood.