I get my hair cut on the Solstice

I get my hair cut on the Solstice, though I’m not thinking about renewal or hours of dark and light when I make the appointment.

I get my hair cut on the Solstice even though I don’t like having strangers touch my head.

I get my hair cut on the Solstice—just a trim, though the extra body in back might make someone who met me within the last few weeks think it was a whole new style. The world isn’t new just because the length of the night is slowly being snipped.

I get my hair cut on the Solstice, and the sun’s still visible when I step outside and feel the cold against my bare-again neck.

I get my hair cut on the Solstice and remember how much colder it was last year, when I went to spend the holidays with someone I loved who I thought loved me. The first time I thought that relationship was over, I cut a few feet off my hair; the trims have been fairly regular since. After so many endings, it ended for good before the last Summer Solstice.

I get my hair cut on the Solstice. In the year that’s ending, I published poems, short stories, photographs; I was shortlisted for a prize for unpublished novels.

I get my hair cut on the Solstice and think about revising that novel so I can try to get it published (or at least under contract) before the next Winter Solstice. I think, too, about finishing this PhD thesis.

I get my hair cut on the Solstice. A few months ago a brutal person with whom I had a relationship, someone who abused me in every way, died. I have survived. I’m still turning on this turning world. And he’s gone. A drug overdose—though not one as painful as it should have been.

I get my hair cut on the Solstice. And I tell someone, who I know can give me no commitments, how much I’d like to kiss him.

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