Alopecia at Twenty-Eight

marina stevenson  

They say true beauty is below the surface,
so as my surface frays thin
I am undone by what leers through.
I thought I believed in kinder things, you see.
I realize now my belief was always skin deep,
superficiality stretched across a framework
of vanity, self-doubt. Such ugly things.

Every day I unravel a little more.
The tapestry that displays my self-image
falls apart strand by strand. I throw handfuls of hair
into the trash; what else could I do with it?
I have no power to put it back.
Like so many of our possessions, our bodies’ threads
become refuse when they cease to be ours.

Before this started, I would pull old tangles
from my brush and tuck them into bushes
for birds to weave into their nests,
making meaning of what was no longer mine.
Today I pull tangles of words from my head,
unspooling them to the universe like a prayer,
and try to believe that this has value, too.



Author Bio 

M. Stevenson (she/her) is a writer, educator, and naturalist with degrees from Brown University  (B.A., Geology- Biology) and the University of Idaho (M.Ed., Environmental Education). Her publications included poetry and prose in Phantom House Press, Barely South Review, Tiny Seed Literary Journal, Poets Reading the News, The Florida Review, and Watershed Journal. An avid swing dancer, she’s often found dancing lindy hop or wandering the woods. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @mstevensonbooks.