I collect my hairs from shower drains, caught on brass door handles, scraped off
wall pockmarks, car ceilings, desk drawers, the shadow whiskers on his face,
corners where tile meets drywall, endless maws of the vacuum, swirls and mats.
Victorian families collected hair of their dead, twisting strands
onto tangled snarls of curling wire, blooming flowers, growing wreaths
displaying so many shades of keratin brown. Displays would expand
as households would shrink, heirlooms passed from mother to daughter, aunt to heir,
Proper ladies made brooches, corsages, writing letters on their techniques.
Pam and I found a hair museum on a road trip to Independence.
Lost and curious, we twisted our own hair around twitching fingers,
considered the inhuman colors modern dyes allowed modern us,.
My children, a genetic lottery, wheat waves, and amber corkscrews,
mixed from the same parental soup, flags shining in the afternoon sun.
Dee insisted that I cut their curls, just a few, she hid them away
in a safety deposit box among her opals and jeweled rings,
sealed in plastic bags, air pressed out, where she kept curls of her own children.
My husband leaves the white sink powdered in fine, dark hairs after a shave,
reminder that I need to clean out the snarls trapped in our glass shower.
I drag my index finger, spelling out Hair like a child would finger
Wash Me on the back of a dirt-encrusted Chevy in a Wal-Mart parking lot.
Some day I will wish
I had gathered that dust into bags,
kept it near me in wax and twine,
made a brooch of him,
a final clasp.