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black hair, black as my soul
by Hezekiah Allen Taylor

he likes to insert the line
into conversations both near and far
he likes to stretch it and see how loose
of a connection he can make: from China Girl
to his girl last night, from childhood pets
to the mane his mother used to wind tight
on the top of her head like a doorknob
she could twist to reveal a "new you"

he can't remember where he found it
old '80s TV show, Ramones song, Shakespeare sonnet
in high school, he thought he'd picked it from
a pile of alternative bands (he kept the albums
in careful dishelvement on his floor)
in college, it reminded him of something
Thoreau might say (sarcastically)
something Whitman might say (wholeheartedly)
something Faulkner might say (for effect)

He'd say it and cock his ear and wait

usually she'd laugh
and he'd smile
and he'd wonder if he remembered
to replace that extra condom
he kept in the glove box
when he got the expected reaction

Francine's Version -- Hezekiah's Version -- Inspiration
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