On Contemplating a Buzz Cut Before the Pandemic

The Mania tells me to chop off my hair. I don’t. 

             I talk down the scissors

                         from an idea of bangs.

             The clippers and I compromise on

an undercut- only mutilating

             half of my head, no need

                         for the whole punishment. I

             do not remind myself of all the knives in

the kitchen, afraid of the mob 

             they would become; taking

                         to the streets of my body, igniting

             the memory of bleeding by choice. No-

I squash this rebellion before it starts, 

             thumb to forearm. Instead, remind

                         myself that I am sovereign: nothing

             can remove my crown ((“Or the weight of it,”

Depression adds unsolicited, like a mother.))

I, like a mother, gift my hair the name Anchor.

             A noun of its own. Depression simpers

                         something about

             irony//doubt//the lies we tell ourselves

My hair rebuttals “truth

             is subjective at best.” and says nothing else,

                         no billowy language, bloated

             on its ideals of forgiveness

or growth or weight. Instead, it leaves 

             me alone. Gifts me an allowance of mistakes

                         The soft joy of bad at-home hair dye.

             The brisk rush of freshly cut bangs.

The gentle thrum of clippers in steady hands.

Briana Grace Hammerstrom

Briana Grace Hammerstrom is a poet currently residing in Chico, CA. She has participated in the Individual World Poetry Slam, the National Poetry Slam, and ran the Flagstaff Poetry Slam from 2016 to 2019. Her poetry is varied- from queer joy to sheer outrage, Hammerstrom aims to showcase the disparity between what we think of words and how we use them. You can buy her first chapbook “What Else Can Grow” on Amazon.

NOVUS Literary and Arts Journal
Lebanon, TN