“Perfection will do you in.” By Julia at the desk

Friday April 17, 2020
5:02pm
5 minutes
Perfection, Perfection
Father Kilian McDonnell

Today I took the kitchen shears
which they tell you not to use
and then I cut bangs by myself
which they tell you not to do
and then I said who knows who
knows and then I left the curls
on the counter because some
of them looked too nice to
throw away

I knew attempting this would
not yield perfection
because they tell you not to
attempt doing this at all
and since I’ve been prone to
overblown expectations on my
hair and myself and my hair

Since I was young with bangs
cut by my Zia Patricia who
was at the time a retired
hair-stylist due to all the
chemicals destroying her skin
I longed for what my sister
with straight hair got when
I received a 90s regret instead

I was told by the professional
naysayer in my head that bangs
are not for me because they
would get frizzy and they
wouldn’t be very easy to dry
properly without a diffuser
and then it was all white
noise because I did cut them
and when I dried them they
looked as okay as I predicted

“I still can’t see” by Julia on her bathroom floor

Thursday April 25, 2019
9:13pm
5 minutes
The Black Man Speaks
Langston Hughes

We got a professional to come in and I still can’t see my face in the mirror. It’s speculated to be a ghost situation. These are not my words but the professional’s. She thinks because I used to be able to see a reflection that there’s a ghost living in the mirror now. I’m telling her, maybe there’s something in me. And she says, yes like a ghost. And I’m thinking, no, more like a brick. Not a brick growing roses in the pit of my stomach. But a brick blocking everything in there from getting enough sun. Light is needed for a reflection. The professional doesn’t answer cause she’s tapping the pencil to her teeth and it looks like she’s busy making a clink sound. Clink clink. I think, she pulls it away slowly, you might be haunted by a ghost of your past self and you can’t see yourself because you don’t recognize someone so different.

“I worry for a moment that he’s coming back” by Julia on the 4


Saturday February 13, 2016
6:10pm
5 minutes
The Valley
Joan Macleod


I have this spine tingling hair whispering feeling that I won’t be alone here for long. The way I know when my body needs to throw up: the cues, the signals, the deep understanding of when things are in order and when they are even slightly off. I read the room, literally, spiritually and I know that if I want it I have to move fast. I can do it safely if I do it now. I can avoid being caught in the act, avoid improvising a reason, response, defense, if I just focus and mind over matter everything. I scan my surroundings, two doors, one camera, three potential stations for pick up, four paths to and from said locations to confuse and distract. I choose route two and I walk with a clip to station one. I pick up necessary tools in completing future steps with most ease and comfort. I scoop my hands into the deep bag, careful to only pull out enough to fit in both of my hands when cupped.