Wash Day

By | 13 May 2024
The first step is the final wash.
Drench your hair completely in room temperature water.
Using dish soap, wash your hair as you would on
any other day. Strip away sulfate and silicone residue.
Feel your roots straining against the lemony foam like
a bow drawing breath. The dry weightlessness
of a clean slate a few sharp notes away from breakage.
Let yourself be close to breaking. Take your curl-
friendly conditioner and apply generous amounts.
Detangle gently. Let your fingers slide through
as you would with rainfall and beaded curtain.
Coat each wrinkle like paint on a misshapen bowl.
Every dimple and knot trapping more
of the sweet nectar. Lower your curls
into your palms and press the product in
with a pulsing motion. Let them drink.
Soak up the balm until your fists feel more like cups.
This is how you learn to hold yourself without violence.
To comb and not rake. To pull and not tug.
What radical power, this movement of care.
This dance. The unshakable strength
of softness. Rinse out 50 percent. Squeeze
out water and excess product in an old cotton shirt.
Air dry.
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