'Hair' by Clodagh O'Brien

I found her hair in my bed. Long and black it clung to my arm; wrapped itself around the thick mat at my wrist she used to stroke like a pet. I pulled it softly and unfurled it from my forest. It nestled in my palm, covering heart and life lines in a clef.

My fingers warmed to it, imagined a clump there. Her ponytail plump as a horse’s tail, bright as a polished coin. When we had sex she let it down. It fell in waterfall curves, the point where water met rock and toppled over. She draped it across my chest, hair meeting hair, my own wiry armour reaching out, electric in want. When she came it got thrown back. The arc of her neck a swan's head dipping for food. It shuddered harder than any part of her. We leaked and she sighed, hair spread over the pillow, seaweed on a tide.

In my hand the strand was so small, so insignificant, but yet it clung. I held it to the sun and saw a small copper band, the highlights she loved. With a light blow it took off, to the mercy of an open window. It squirmed, the ends clasping for glass and I skimmed on regret. I reached, but then remembered and closed the window instead.


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