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wears her hair down, like the weeping willow
I say I’ll be when I’m dead. I tell her I want
waves like hers, and not the stringent strings
currently pulling from my head. She says
it was late—much later in life when the rivers
on her scalp became oceans: all saltwater 
and seaweed, constantly crashing, curling,
recurring. At sixty, my mother asks if I’ll
keep it a secret. As if the years are unattended
candle flame. As if they’ll blow out any second, or
burn the house down, and there won’t be enough
hair on her head to put the fires out. She says oceans
are best watched from a distance, remembers 
gripping sand and debris when years ago
she watched the pink, flushed horizon and
floated out with the current, before the waves
took her under. Tried to take her out, but
at sixty, my mother recalls only the taste 
of salt. Talks about the sea like she’s never
seen it before, says one day my hair will 
curl a little, like hers, says one day I, too,
will carry oceans on my head.