1.

You do not know the pressure,
of a full human body,
on the roots of your hair.

He climbed me,
Soft rungs,
Held up by my thin angular body.

Princes
Have hearts and pockets filled with stones,
And hot-air-balloon heads.

He climbed me,
Wrung out
My water-balloon heart.

Pressed me so hard I imploded.

2.

Never let down your hair for anyone,
but yourself.
Even if they make your name sound
Like honey,
That drips,
Slow, sensuous.
It is mercurial,
It will pull out your hair,
Strand by strand.

Piles of hay,
in which your heart is lost forever.

Keep your hair short,
Keep all your strength in your body,
Not in your hair.
You are not Samson.
You can barely lift yourself in the morning.
Your body is a ragdoll.
Do not let it be weighted by your hair.

Don’t grow out your hair for anyone,
(Don’t grow out of your hair).

Mothers,
Mothers will brush and braid it for you,
Mothers will brush you off,
Will brush you up,
Will try to keep you in a neat braid,
They will make your hair into safety nets,
They will tell you to settle for safety nets,
Don’t

Let your hair tangle.
Tangles are lesions,
Scars of hair tissue,
Poison nests,
Venus flytraps of the fingers.

Don’t get caught in your hair,
Your hair is not spiderwebs.
You are not a spider,
Or a fly.

Let them run their hands in your hair,
Knowing it will tangle,
Knowing it will pull,
Knowing the pain
Of hairstrings cutting bloodflow,
The pressure,
Of a prince’s hand,
A mother’s tongue,
Let yourself be hair,
Hair that grows in graves,
Deadly weeds,
Choking
Everything.

Lior Zaltzman graduated from SVA in 2013, with a major in Cartooning. She was born in Israel, and is currently wandering around Europe. Her first graphic novel, Staring Ahead, will be out in April.